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Vanessa Varjian

I am attracted to the drama of intense lighting contrasts in the landscape, often situating myself where the sun is in my eyes, creating veils of neon colors over seemingly ordinary shadows and hazy edges around the shapes of tree branches, fences, or ceramic objects. With both observed and experimental color decisions, I depict the medley of colors that exist in shadows as well as sunlit areas. Reality is simultaneously underexposed and overexposed depending on point of focus as my eyes adjust to an object. If observed first hand, light and shadow contain the same intensity of color.

Through a combination of plein air sessions and imaginative painting in the studio, I have adopted a practice that draws from different modes of working, presenting a rich variety of visions. The paintings are snapshots of a scene that are, at moments, depicted in thin layers on an absorbent ground, to resemble watercolors. Other parts are generously built up, and a history of the process remains visible through acts of scraping, glazing, blanketing and revealing. Varied application of layers and direction of strokes reflect shifts in mood, the animation of the natural world, and the passing of time in a space. Veils of color can refer to atmospheric conditions or a specific event like the moving shadow of a cloud. More distinct marks and details suggest a fleeting spec of light or a fixed object in space. The paint glides, pools, glows and skips across the canvases.

The influence of authentic i ... view more »

More About the Artist

Themes in Work:

Environment, space (surroundings), light & shadow, sustainability, work/involvement, nature.

Professional Affiliations:

Arts Foundation of Cape Cod

Contact information