Exhibit: Amanda Johnson
Artist Statement: Long Version
The current body of work is an investigation into my process of painting. It may be interpreted as a seed upon which several bodies of work will later spring.
The goal was to embark on a process that would allow myself to transcend the limits of the painting medium, physically and psychologically. That's why you will notice striking juxtapositions, such as my parrot Sweet Pea emerging from a paint torn ground. It isn't that I love painting parrots on abstract backgrounds just for the sake of doing it. To me that painting was a part of a process where there was a realization that anything is possible with paint. A painting is never too dried, too layered, or too finished.
It is from that unlimited potential that I like to stand when I paint, not being afraid on the one hand frightening, tempting one to paint only academically, because the artist wants it to " look good" as opposed to "looking bad". But it is also liberating, realizing that painting is ultimately a creative process, by which we solve problems creatively.
Most of these paintings where continued works in progress over several months, layers where added, negated, destroyed, re-added, images where lost and found within the layers. With the abstracts, it is often the layers that add depth and profundity that can only be understood by spending time observing the painting over the course of time. People have often commented that they notice something new every time they look at them, similar to how you would get to know a friend over time.
For me, painting creatively is different than painting academically with a creative composition. A creative composition would be making an imaginary scene such as a sci-fi or fantasy scene, and then rendering it with a rigid academic approach. Painting creatively, calls the artist to know the paint intimately in a way that feels right to the artist, to re-interpret what paint can do and how they tend to use it. In my current work, you will see a wide usage of paint, paint crumbling, thick syrupy glazes, rugged and mottled, foggy, peeling, pressed, splattered, thrown, scraped, muddied, straight out of the tube, etc. I think we all paint creatively to a certain degree. I hope to merge my creative approach with my academic training.
Amanda Johnson 2/2009