Artist’s Statement

Current Works: My current series, Wave Dances, focuses on the movement of water and the layers of life and structures – animals, plants and rocks – that exist beyond the surface that is normally experienced by the human eye, and to show the way that energy moves through water to create waves and tides. 

Pink Float_Charlotte Angel

Other Recent Abstract Works:  My recent abstract works are explorations of single objects – wood, water, stone, paper – their qualities, interactions with natural forces and the life and energy contained under the visual surface.

What I want to accomplish: Modern research into human reaction to viewing artworks, indicates that people do not view paintings in the ways suggested by classical composition, that is following sight lines, but by repeatedly studying the edges contained in the art and the contrasts between light and dark areas.  In my current and future work, I seek to increase viewer participation and interest in my works by providing a multiplicity of edges and contrasting value, through collage pieces and colors.

Techniques/Process:  My current works are acrylic and collage on panels or canvas that I create by making a mosaic of multiple layers of paint and collage pieces that are treated with various texture-making applications to make art that provides intense viewer interest in exploring the levels of images presented.  I develop images and composition intuitively, based on rough initial sketches of values and notan (picture space controlled by black shapes on white) possibilities, and building up layers of paint and collage.

Influences:  Matisse and Gaudi mosaics.  My work is influenced, in a contrary way, by Matisse.  Where he strove to simplify his collage works into patterns created from shapes of pure, single colors, I seek to create pictures with a tapestry of shapes and layers of shattered colors in a manner similar to the broken mosaics of Gaudi.

Art Philosophy: In the 1960’s, a Russian psychologist, Alfred Yarbus, experimented and documented the way people view and process paintings.  His findings were published in 1967 as Eye Movement and Vision.  His work debunked permanently the classical theories of the way the human eye moves through a picture, primarily the idea that the viewer’s eyes follow lines or edges and, that with the use of directional (or leading) lines, the artist can control eye movement by the arrangement of lines in a picture’s composition.  In fact, the human eye, as controlled by the brain, ignores those composition lines, and flashes up and down visual edges, particularly where there is a significant value contrast. “…Outlines themselves have no effect on the character of eye movements.” 

I hope to use the findings of Dr. Yarbus’s experiments, and other more contemporary sources, to develop a new method of composing pictures to take advantage of the way the human brain actually examines images. 

Future Works:  As my Wave Dances series progresses, I hope to incorporate ideas concerning the movement of energy through water, increasing the number of layers of seeing, the depth of life supported by water and the development of composition based on knowledge about the way the human brain processes pictures as discovered by the work of Alfred Yarbus,  and how that affects picture composition.

Early Works: Beauty and the Beast series; Death Hold My Hand series; Dracula illustrations project; and Contemporary Still Life.