2018 AFA Capstone Exhibition

Statement by Maddy Sehring

Translation can be defined as the conversion of something from one form into another. I translate imaginary ideas into expressionism through the use of mixed media, bold lines, and choice of color palettes.

It wasn’t until I went to the Cleveland Museum of Art and an exhibit at Cleveland Museum’s Transformer Station that I became motivated The Transformer Station is a separate contemporary gallery owned by the Cleveland Museum. In visiting, I became inspired by an oil painter by the name of Dana Schutz. Schutz’s absence of blending in her oil painting, abstract nature in her composition, and choice of bright color palettes pulled me in.

In my series of drawings and paintings, I give human anatomy personalities by adding facial features and expressions. My process begins by using marker to demonstrate how I will organize and construct the oil paintings on a separate piece of paper. During this process with marker, I let my imagination wander and give myself the freedom to use as many colors as I want. These steps complete a finished marker drawing. After completing the series of marker drawings, I begin a set of separate artworks on canvas panel and begin creating form and texture by using oil paint. Although the marker drawings reflect the same ideas as the oil paintings, they are two different, independent series of artworks. This time I choose a limited color palette and am direct with my application of the oil paint. I use texture to make the organs or body parts graphic and gory, adding emphasis to the fact that they are organs, and limit my colors to reds, and skin-tones. Thus, this process leaves me with two finished products; a completed abstract marker drawing in full color, and a textured, limited palette oil painting.

The painterly quality of my ceramic projects convert three-dimensional products into what they may look like if they were pulled from one of my oil paintings. Again, I start with a small marker drawing to allow creative freedom and decide what my plan is; these are solely meant for planning purposes, although they can stand alone as separate artworks. Then, I construct the clay based on the smaller marker drawing by using hand building or wheel thrown methods. I bisque fire and paint the clay with acrylic paint mixed with graham cracker dust to create an immense amount of texture.

My artwork is a way of making connections between what I find in my imagination versus what exists. It incorporates different styles of creating as well as the ability to experiment with media. This series is representative of my journey through art education, and the process I go through to finish a project.  Through these artworks, I have found that there is so much left to explore; whether it be within myself, experimentation with techniques and mediums, or fueling new ideas to keep creating every day.