Friday, April 8, 2016
Avy Claire: Finding the Edges
A professional landscape designer and artist, Avy Claire’s paintings, drawings on Mylar, digital photography and installations are all centered on nature. Much of her work is conceptual, dealing with the built environment and man’s interaction with the natural landscape.
While at VCCA, Avy decided to focus on just one thing, painting, and exploring ways to make the paintings more spare. “While here, I’ve been pushing myself to experiment a lot and play a lot and see what happens. I see something I like and I try to understand what is happening that appeals to me. A lot of the work is spontaneous and I’m trying to figure out how do I recreate spontaneity?”
Avy turned her attention to the brushstroke creating simple yet quite power swirls of pigment in hues taken from the world outside her window. With these reductive meditations Avy was trying to figure out how much is enough. This was challenging, requiring not only acceptance of it by herself, but also the confidence to put it out there in the world.
“When I look at the landscape, I imagine what I see, the land forms, the trees, and sky, as the veil or skin. I’ve always been interested in the energies and the elements behind that skin. In some of these paintings, I feel like I’m pushing these forces up against each other and the most important part of the painting is that edge where they meet."
Avy relishes the point where contrasting things come together, which is the reason she adds matt medium to the acrylic paint to keep her expressive, juicy brushstrokes intentionally dry looking. “I think I’m always interested in the tension between two things that aren’t necessarily in harmony, but when they come together they create a tension that can only exist with two disparate elements.”
Avy was in residence for five weeks of intensive work, challenging herself towards an original means of expression. “Through the whole course of the time here some days have been brilliant, some days are oh my God…I fall back into things I know. My biggest drive is to see something new. Always. I’m painting to see something new for myself and when I do something old, it’s like, no, I’ve seen that before. I want to see something new. So it’s been kind of a push, push, push.” Her efforts were clear in the great quantity of visually spare, yet somehow emotionally charged work she produced.