Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Expressionist painter, am I ?

"I see you, no.1" Acrylic on canvas, 7"x 9", 2010
Lucy Inserra

I consider myself an expressionist painter because my paintings are an expression of what I feel, see, and imagine. Expressionism is difficult to define because it’s a mixture of so many isms’s for instance, impressionism, abstract expressionism, and even Dadaism. All of these isms’s are an expression that a painter/artist feels or wants the viewer to feel through the use of color and brush strokes. My personal experience in painting and becoming an expressionist painter was in 2010, I wanted to express myself through paint and imagery that would reflect my feelings or give a feeling to someone viewing my paintings. I had to dig into my soul and concentrate on what I wanted to express. Therefore, I wanted to share my experiences of my nightmares that I had for years in the early 2000’s. The nightmares would recur year after year and it caused me to question myself. These nightmares were of my family members and friends turning into these evil clowns. I would end of sleeping with the lights on and terrified of clowns. It wasn’t until in college in the year 2010-2011 that I wanted to paint these images on a canvas to fight my fears. I didn’t want to paint clowns, so I started with photographs of my family members and friends that would dress in boas and masks. The masks were a representation of clowns and also my love of theatre and music. Masks were used in ancient times for ceremonial purposes and used in theatre to represent imagery that would frighten or encourage its viewers. My first painting of my nightmares was “I see you, no. 1” (see attachment) Acrylic on canvas, 7”x9”, 2010. Even though, this painting is very small, it shows so much energy and uneasiness that I knew this was the direction I wanted my paintings to reflect. By 2011, my senior show was based on masked persons and still life’s of masks with wine bottles. The wine bottles were another representation of being brave while under the influence of alcohol.  (See attachments of paintings: 2 out of 10). I even went as far as wearing a mask during my paintings sessions to get more of a feeling while painting these images on canvas.  Now, in current time I am continuing to develop my expressionist style through painting using different imagery-abandoned buildings/houses. I know that some people will not see the reason why for the paintings, but as long it gives an emotion or feeling in viewing the paintings then I have done my job as an expressionist painter. After, my series of abandoned buildings/houses, I am planning on working with Abstract Expression to get more of a feeling in the use of lines and paint on a canvas, showing more feeling/emotion to express myself through a painting. Wish me luck!
My expressionist influences are Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Edvard Munch, and Willem de Kooning.
"Laugh" Oil on canvas, 18"x 24", 2011
Lucy Inserra

"Untitled", Oil on canvas, 18"x 24", 2011
Lucy Inserra
"Untitled" Oil on Canvas, 18"x 24", 2012
Lucy Inserra

Myself in Painting Studio 2011

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Can’t use the color black…WHAT???

Color Wheel

I graduated in May 2011 with a B.A. in Studio Art with an emphasis in painting. The last three years in college I was not allowed to use the color black in my paintings. Even though, I tried to be sneaky and put it on my palette but, my Professor Eric Mantle-my mentor always caught me at it because you could see the color black being used on the canvas. The reason to not use the color black was to learn colors and mixing colors without losing the color completely. It was a very hard lesson to learn not use the color black. It taught me a lot about color and the color wheel. For instance, how would you darken colors without using black?  First, Colors are defined as hues or pigments, hues are warm/cold colors (usually mixed colors) and pigments are the pure color. Primary colors are Red, yellow, and Blue. Now, back to not using black…I consider black not to be a color because black can easily cancel out any color. So, let’s say you want to darken a red color without using black, what color would you use? You can use green or blue because according to the color wheel red and green are complementary to each other (straight line across the chart) and the color blue is a triad color (triangle on chart). I know it can be very confusing at times studying the color wheel, but if you paint with color like I do and love mixing and learning color, it’s amazing what wonderful colors you can create and NOT use the color black at all. So, how would darken a lighter color, for instance yellow? You could use red, then it will turn orange then add blue…now brown is a color so, you could add brown to yellow to give it a darken hue. To really learn about color is to study the color wheel and play with the colors on your palette. Be careful when using oil paints because too much mixing can easily turn your colors to a nasty color brown. I have to say that I continue to NOT use the color black in my paintings, or I try not to. I do like using the color black on some paintings, it depends on my vision. For a helpful tool, make templates or squares of colors and write on the back (like flash cards) the colors you used to make that color. It does help create those colors over and over again and to learn the color wheel. I can say that I am a color guru now, because I can look at a color and know exactly what colors were used to make that color. Play with color! Good Luck! Have fun with it!