I am a professional graphic designer who specializes in digital
media, I still find pleasure and artistic challenge in creating
works in conventional media such as paint, clay, and photography.
I choose materials for my projects based upon their unique properties
and how they match my artistic goals. This exhibition includes two
of my latest series of works. In one series I worked with clay and
in the other I worked with acrylic paint.
started working in clay as a way to create a balance with my professional
digital design work. I missed having my hands feel something other
than a keyboard or computer mouse. I also find the unique, unexpected
surfaces that can be achieved through texturing and glazing, enchanting.
One of my other interests is community art. I enjoy working in collaboration
with others. As an avid traveler, I felt fortunate to visit Cuba
in 2001 with a group of artists in January. We planned an art show
in June to display the works we had created that were influenced
by our Cuban experience. I then created a web site in order to share
the exhibition with a broader audience.
Cuba, I was struck by how I resonated with its colors, textures,
sights, smells, sounds, music and people. I reveled in the romantic
decay as nature works to reclaim the land from the old buildings.
Realizing that unglazed ceramic pieces have a quality reminiscent
of the weatherworn, sun-faded paint of the crumbling, cement buildings
that are common in Havana, I started working in clay bas-relief
to capture my memories. To began my first piece by playing Cuban
music on my stereo and using photographs that I took in Cuba as
a reference (some of which are displayed in this show). I chose
scenes that were prevalent throughout my travels: the buildings,
cars, musicians, and the ever-present clotheslines. At first glance,
a building might appear abandoned but upon closer viewing, a shining
streak of color filled clothesline waving in the breeze would be
the flag of a building that was lived in!
work was carved and sculpted from terra cotta clay. The works were
glazed and fired many times to achieve the desired effect. I aimed
to contrast matte, distressed surfaces with shining glazed areas
to show the variety of surfaces possible with clay. To frame the
works, I used scrap wood to symbolize the rustic quality of the
Cuban landscape as well as to honor Cuban ingenuity in recycling
materials that would otherwise go to waste in wealthier nations.
the summer of 2002, I have organized groups to explore and depict
landscapes in New England and I have created an on-line exhibition
to document each artist’s progress. This has kept me active
painting en plein air. I use acrylic paints mainly for pragmatic
reasons. The quick-drying nature of acrylic paints makes the paintings
easier to transport whether by bicycle, or by automobile. A secondary
benefit is that acrylic paints challenge me to work quickly and
spontaneously. To me, landscape painting is like a meditation. The
internal dialog that develops as I compose a picture, interests
me. “What should I concentrate on? What size canvas or board
should I choose? What should I include or exclude from the scene?”
This decision-making process enhances my skills as a graphic designer.
By reserving time and emotional space each week to paint; I can
chart my artistic progress.
to work simultaneously on two or three series rather than focus
entirely on one. This allows me to take time away from one project,
and to return to it with a fresh perspective thereby expanding my
observational and expressive vocabulary.
to Jennifer Fuchel's artwork