Marcia Wise at the Jones Library in Amherst this Thursday, Jan 7th from 5 to 8 pm.
The beauty and mystery of Nature are at the core of my work. Whether working en plein air or in the studio, I am aware of the connection between art, spirit, and life. My focus is on color. I create visual brilliance by allowing the drama of light and color to shape my compositions while I experiment with color placement and color relationships. I begin with a sketch on prepared hardboard panels, and I apply the first layer of paint with brushes, creating a cohesive value study under-painting that serves as a value skeleton for successive applications of color. With a palette knife I apply one layer of paint at a time, while also scraping paint away, letting each layer dry between applications. I work toward a smooth finish on my surfaces, yet I want them to visually appear textured. Each layer of color is allowed to show through in the finished piece.
In my portrait work I crop the face closely with little or no background, often excluding the top of the head, hair, parts of chins, ears. I focus on the language of the eyes and the emotion they show. Sometimes the eyes pose a question or cause one to wonder what is being seen, thought, felt, or said. I love a deep, direct gaze. As I add and subtract paint, this process takes me out of time and deep within. It is there that I discover some part of myself within the intimate landscape of the other. This is the discovery that holds me captivated. Here I find glimpses of spirit within where any feelings of being separate fade into a sense of connection.
When I am painting landscapes and seascapes in oil, my process is the same as with the portraits. I am presently experimenting with bringing these subjects, as well as still life objects, into a closer cropped format as with the portraits. I also work in many layers of color when painting with pastels, but I do not scrape any color away. Pastel painting is a quicker process for me than oil painting so I enjoy this faster approach. I often take a pastel painting back to the studio and rework it into an oil painting.
I find the same mystery and self-discovery while painting the landscape, and most always work en plein air so I can experience a connection with the spirit of the land. It is this process, this inner journey that speaks to me. As I recreate Nature's beauty and mystery, I too, am recreated
Marcia Wise Images:
Pastel - Pastel on Sandpaper
10.5 by 16 inches
Relationships I - Two Vases
Still Life - Oil on Board
30 by 24 inches