Every once in a while, I am so wonderfully surprised ~
Yesterday, fellow artist and accomplished writer, C.J. Shane posted a really insightful review of my recent ink and watercolor painting, The Heart Surges in her #saturdayartreview column on G+. It's always a bit surreal/fascinating when someone looks deeper into my work and then offers their unique perspective. I love what Shane wrote...she understands the essence of my art which begins with my own layered approach to storytelling. I'm honored, and I invite you to read her review, follow her on G+ and offer your own interpretation of The Heart Surges, if so inclined.
Yesterday 1:17 PM - Public#saturdayartreview byC.J. Shane
December 1, 2012
Some artists present us with images that can bring forth different stories in our minds. These images tell a tale that instruct or inform us. It’s impossible to miss the story in Picasso’s Guernica, for example. Or perhaps an image carries within it a spontaneous story laden with diverse ideas or emotions – ideas and emotions that are very often related to what we are thinking or feeling in our personal lives.
Other artists have the capacity to go beyond concept or emotions in storytelling, and instead they present images that can be seen, interpreted, or read in many different ways not bounded by one story line. In these works, the essential nature or structure of the image can be read in different ways. It’s up to you and me to say what we are seeing. The image can be seen as micro or macro level, as a landscape in one minute, or a figure in the next; as abstracts now, or an impressionistic rendering in a future viewing. These multiple understandings of a single image are especially intriguing to me
Shell Rummel is one of those artists who can provide us with those compelling images. In fact she says herself, “The fluid grace of nature and its infinite interpretations is my inspiration.” The word “fluid” catches my attention here because it seems to encapsulate the character of her work. The very ability of her images to be read in different ways manifests this idea of fluidity.
Take this watercolor painting, The Heart Surges which is accompanied by a passage from the book The History of Love. From the title of this work and the book passage, an immediate interpretation comes to us. We imagine a “new feeling” entering the world, and we get to speculate on what the new feeling might be based on the image we see.
But there are other ways to read this. Are we looking at the interior space of a creature that carries within itself a heart and blood vessels and surging flood flows? That micro-level interpretation of the inner life of cells or structure of tissue appears often in Shell’s work. Or stepping back a bit, do we see a reposing figure with pulsating vessels just beneath the skin’s surface? Or perhaps this is something entirely different. Perhaps it’s a sea creature with tentacles floating on undulating waves. Step back again. Could the image be an island floating in the great ocean? We see rocky cliffs and sandy shores, tree lines and open grass prairies, trails and roads and little villages? Or perhaps this is the great Ocean itself with that pulsating, surging life-giving substance that gives planet Earth its true name, the Water Planet.
One can always be sure that Shell’s images will be organic, made of earth and sea and sky, of tissues and cells and atoms that make up the things of life. Her color palette is distinctive and perfectly supports her artistic message. Although I know much of her time is taken with her design business based in Virginia, I am always very pleased to see her artwork appear in her G+ stream. It has become something of an entertaining puzzle for me to see how many layers of reality I can see in her paintings.
Nov 14, 2012 - Public