StrangeFamiliars

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 32 Sales On Etsy since 2016

5 out of 5 stars
(8)

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Jen R.

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Jen R.

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5 out of 5 stars
(8)
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Updates

A little Golden Hour light hitting the newly re-varnished original of "Take it Easy" in my floor studio. You can't see everything behind it, but there's 4 more mixed media pieces in the works. Got a bunch of new stuff coming soon!

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Finishing touches on a pastel from this winter- Dale the huskey is so photogenic! Pepper cat is investigating...

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About

My Artist Statement and Process

Art and the written word are two of humanity’s most powerful ways to communicate. The multi-faceted relationship between words and art fascinates me. For example, knowing the title can alter your opinion of a painting, a little information can change an image’s meaning entirely, and press can make or break an artist’s career. Using handwritten words in my drawings and paintings allows me to convey my thoughts more clearly, and allows imagery to mix with prose to make a more complete communication. The meandering, labyrinthine lines of text mimic the drift in thoughts as I turn a theme over and over in my head. Reading them is meant to be a little difficult, like following someone else’s train of thought.
In my representational work,

I’ve chosen animals as my subjects because I find they are eye-catching, accessible, and colorful—which makes them fun to play with. I often select animals that are unusual, and sometimes surprising. In my word-art the animals act as familiars, talismans, totems. They are symbols of thoughts about various topics: A pair of lovebirds accompanies reflections on love and unity, and an owl personifies curiosity and the idea of asking small questions to get to the big picture (e.g. “How are you?” or “Can I help?”)

The drawings are done in oil pastels, which are (unaccountably) rarely used by professional artists (making them somewhat of a novelty) and which I love mainly for their brilliant colors and versatile nature.

I explore different techniques with both oil paint and pastels- constantly looking for new ways to achieve the images I want. In my pastels, birch panels have taken the place of paper as a ground; these panels add durability and the ability to use wet media, but remove some of my dry media options, notably the use of pen for writing. On paper, I’ve been playing with oil and chalk pastel backgrounds, to achieve soft atmospheric effects.

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