Thursday, June 17, 2010

An Interview with Lori Anne Boocks, Studio Gallery Artist

Semblance of a Responsible Life
Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas
36 x 50 inches

Work by Lori Anne Boocks will be featured in the upcoming new member show Explorations at Studio Gallery June 23 - July 17, 2010, along with members Pam Frederick, Elizabeth Grusin-Howe, Carolee Jakes, Flora Kanter, Peter Karp, Eugene Markowski, Veronica Szalus, and Angelika Wamsler.

First Friday Reception: July 2, 6 - 8 pm
Reception: Friday, July 9, 6 - 8 pm
Artist's Reception: Saturday, June 26, 4 - 6 pm

Q: What's your favorite piece from the show and why?

A: My fave from the show is Remediation (I will not do the wrong things) . I’ve just gotten back into painting in the last 16 months or so, and this piece really pulled together a lot of the themes and techniques I’d been attempting to bring full circle. Plus the title has a lot of meaning for me: I will not do the wrong things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I always do the right things.

Q: Do you have a specific process that you go through while creating your work?

A: Creating my work involves washes of color, mark-making with charcoal, and removing partial layers of paint before fully dry, so there is a process I work through. It’s just different for each piece. If it’s a humid day, I may have to adjust my timeline to get the effect I want. When I write text in charcoal, I need the layer beneath to be at a certain stage in the drying. Sometimes I scrape through dried paint. As I work with a piece, I steer the process but there’s definitely a co-dependent relationship happening where I have to play off what the latest layer of paint has become.

Q: We understand that text is a major part of many of your pieces. Can you explain how you tie together your painting with the text?

A: It may seem like the text is only a backdrop for color and other elements of my paintings, but it’s the really framework that pulls it all together for me. The tone of the hidden story fragment influences the palette and the energy of the marks made by hand or brush. I build up layer after layer of washes and pure paint, then tear it back down in places just as I do with writing, scratching out or obscuring, then rewriting. My work is essentially about understanding my present and future through reanalyzing the stories of my past. The layers of text are these memories as well as the lens through which I experience the remembering.

Q: Do you usually paint abstractly or were you working in a new style for this collection?

A: With very few exceptions (some self-portraits), my style lies along the non-objective/abstract continuum, and the pieces in this show reflect the love I have for that type of work.

Q: What's your favorite part about being a Studio Gallery member?

A: There’s a wealth of experience and talent at Studio Gallery, and this community of artists is always willing to share. I’ve learned so much from talking with fellow members about their work and their experiences.

Q: How do you come up with the titles for your works?

A: The words for my titles are almost always buried in the painting as part of the story fragments that build up the mark-making.

Q: If you could wish for one major change in the local art scene, what would it be?

A: People aren’t afraid to drop money on concerts and other live entertainment experiences, but I sense that, in this area rich in galleries and affordable art, people are either intimidated by art or hesitant to invest in it. Sure, there are collectors who buy certain names at a certain price point, but do they dig deep enough in the scene to support emerging artists creating high quality work? The average Metro DC resident who likes a piece of art, are they affected by the recession or are other factors at play? I worry that people don’t value the experience they have with art the same way they value a night on the town. If you happen to see a piece that moves you, there’s value in that experience. And if you can afford it, buy the work and don’t worry if that artist is going to be famous one day. The value is in the living with it, the experiencing it every day whether it matches your couch or not. There’s a myriad of wonderful galleries in this area offering an amazing range of quality work. Go be a part of it. Even if you don’t buy something, your life will be richer for making a connection with local art.

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