Artist's Statement—The original works of artist, Bev Bley, are creative collections of representational images and non-objective, abstract, or experimental expressions. She chooses to exhibit her designs on paper, yupo, canvas or, sometimes, whatever is available at the moment. Bev’s choices of medium vary from acrylics, watercolor, oil, gouache, pastels, inks, charcoal which may be applied with various brushes, sponges, sticks, brayers, pencils, crayons, stamps, papers or fingers-whatever will make a mark. In her 20 plus years of painting, her style is variety as she is constantly challenging herself through exploration of techniques and materials. Her impressions are created in her studios in Virginia and Maine or in plein air presenting a balance of energy and visual serenity. To learn more about the artist, visit www.beverlybley.com
Artist Statement—I once took an artist journaling class and the first assignment was to work with our least favorite color -- I chose purple. Before creating any art, we were to write down in a freeform style everything we could think of relating to the color we chose. I furiously wrote many things about the color purple and realized some of the associations were not so bad -- maybe even good. I worked diligently with the color purple and thought about it for an entire week. I now find myself enjoying adding just a little bit of purple here and there to some of my artwork and feel quite a lot of enjoyment from that small act of realization and acceptance.
Most of my artistic career, I have worked with colors from nature -- earthy colors. They suit my work and the ideas behind it. Every once in awhile, I am forced to question my choices. A fellow artist once told me my colors were "somber." After my previous experience with purple, I took awhile to consider this remark. I examined my motivations and came to peace with the comment, although, it is still used in a joking manner between my artist friends and myself.
As probably happens to everyone occasionally, I find that certain images or expressions keep being brought to my attention to the point that I have to take note and ask myself, "why is this being presented to me at this time?" Recently, it seemed that every blog and image stash I looked at seemed to be about using white. "White" in this sense can mean variations of white, tan, ecru, etc all used together as a "white" component. I read about it and admired the artists work and thought, "nice but not for me." I continued on with my somber colors. AND THEN... a person very near and dear to me became engaged!
While working on the many wedding details and DIY projects, she could not find a bouquet idea she was happy with. Then it struck me.... I tentatively presented the idea that I could fashion a wedding bouquet using the techniques of my current textile sculpture work -- in white of course! The bride loved the idea and so I set to work. Funny thing happened on the way to the aisle... I fell in love with the color "white." I was anxious to try it out in my own sculptural work. Consequently, the inspiration for this body of work began with the creation of the bridal bouquet. Ironically, the brides' colors were purple and blue and so the bouquet included a tiny bit of purple! Alas, the wedding was not to be, however, the inspiration for this show had taken hold.
Learning and trying new ways of working in the same materials but with a different and limited color palette, I was forced to see and interpret similar subject matter differently. The emphasis of my work continues to be the forms and textures found in nature and represents, for me, the connection I feel with nature and the longing I have to be closer to the places where I feel most connected. In working with fibers, I have found ways to stitch, heat and cajole the fibers into textures and shapes which do not copy but represent the minutiae of nature which is often overlooked.
Welcome to my show -- Nature in "White" -- please enjoy.