Artist Statement

ARTIST STATEMENT

“I want my work to exude joy, celebration, measured clarity and a sense of calm. “ Creating art is more about communicating what I’m feeling than what I’m seeing. I’m interested in trying to communicate an atmosphere. When you create work from your own ideas, dreams or original point of view, it makes it easy for you to stand behind your work.” My name is Cheryl Johnson, (Cheri Lynn). I am an American artist living on the Northshore of Kaua’i in the Wainiha Valley. I am a Contemporary Abstract Expressionist artists making marks, coloring outside the lines. I create a visual language of form, color and line to create compositions often independent from visual references to actual persons, places or things. I love the process of creating and take liberties, altering color and form in ways that are very evident or in contrast subtle or obscured. I respond to mood and place. “My paintings are an array of colors, and their infinite combinations. I explore media of colour and enjoy their physical properties — opacity, translucence, or viscous feel. I love spontaineity when accident occurs, like a stray dribble or a sublimated lower area or an implied layer or half curve. These imperfect aspects of painting often present a greater opportunity to advance the piece. I tried to capture the beauty of both the human body’s figure and its motion.The figure in my images, is formed into something similar to a sculpture; is created by combining memory and emotion. By putting together uninterrupted individual moments, the resulting image as a whole will appear to be something different from what first glance reveals. Hopefully, a connection can be made to a human being’s perception of presence in life.

I create emotionally charged abstracts, meditative landscapes and figure studies that offer a space for the viewer to explore their own emotions . I work in series and am influenced by the perpetual seasons and cycles of the earth

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Today is the day I will fly!

The world is wabi-sabi: constantly growing, decaying and shifting.

It is all a natural process, and in my work I attempt to create harmony in these cycles. My paintings investigate the dualities that exist within each of us as well as the shifting of energy finding light from darkness, control from chaos, and balance from the unbalanced.

I explore patterns within the natural world and am influenced by human fragility, loneliness, degeneration, devastation, and renewal.

My paintings are very physical, and my process involves carving, caressing, painting, and melting multiple layers of watercolor, aquaresin, foam and wax. The layered history is integral to each piece. The final layer is encapsulated by damar varnish, wax or resin revealing and concealing what lies beneath.

?: What stands out most when Viewers look at your work is the interesting textures you create. Has this evolved out of a more traditional approach to painting?

CLJ: I am more influenced by abstract expressionist artists and admire Joan Mitchell and Cy Twombly and Gherardt Richter. I am also influenced by non-traditional impressionist artists like Monet and Matisse.

My landscapes and seascapes are spaces that resemble landscapes but they make me think about the meaning of space, depth of space, the relationship of horizons and our relationship to the earth. I am interested in the conceptual, expressive notion of space.The textures in my paintings stem from my interest in dimension.

?: what materials excite you? Can you talk about your choice of materials and what drew you to them?
CLJ: I love the tactile nature of plaster, it allows me to paint and sculpt simultaneously. I started using aquaresin because it is stronger than plaster, but has a similar effect. I build up my surfaces with multiple layers, starting with a translucent under painting of watercolor and graphite. Layering is an integral part of my process, as it reveals and conceals what lies beneath. I do a combination of drawing, painting, and sculpting using various carving tools onto my surface. The final layer is often encaustic wax, which encapsulates the layers beneath. I paint the wax onto the surface, and in some areas rub it off, similar to printmaking leaving an impression in the texture of the surface.

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