What interests me currently as an artist is the communication of everyday realities. My work is an abstract representation of my thoughts, emotions, and environments; I have developed my own series of symbols and marks through which I channel my feelings about the world around me, both personally and globally.
After graduating from art school I took a three year break from creating my own work. I started teaching, which is all-consuming, and did not have time to be creative myself. I always loved and appreciated art, but my study was a means to more effectively share that appreciation with others, rather than to create art myself. I wanted to be a teacher, and I love teaching. The impulse to create my own work, for myself, took me completely by surprise – it felt like something that was outside of myself. I started carrying a sketchbook everywhere, treating it like a visual journal. I filled it with impassioned scribbles and marks, shapes and symbols and coffee smears. It was all loose and urgent and abstract and a complete departure from any work that I had ever created before.
Now, I see my work as a way of keeping record. I have developed a personal vocabulary of marks which I use as an abstract code, though they rarely hold the same meaning twice. They feel very personal because the way I use them communicates something for me; the things I repeat – such as the scribble of chalk pastel, the series of dashed lines, the half-shapes that I use repetitively – are a language that I have developed with myself. When things seem beyond my control in my personal life, in the world, in this country, politically, I tend to get wrapped up in cycles of anxiety and hopelessness and restlessness. I find that making the work takes my brain away from the anxiety inducing realities, but also represents them in a way, gets them on paper, so they hold both more and less weight.
I feel emotionally connected to my current work because it is so in-the-moment. I work entirely by feel, without planning the outcome. The first layers of my paintings are put down with the express purpose of covering them up. I will pour acrylic paint onto my canvas and then use my hands to spread it around in a way that is very tactile. The process of creating the work has become, for me, just as much art as the work itself.
"Reflections on the Road"
A Sunday drive around the world really meant a drive around the island of Oahu. I was too young to realize where I was on the planet. Driving around the island and seeing the signage on storefronts whizzing by made an impression that still lingers today. I have fond memories of that time in my life and it is no wonder that vintage signs, old hotels, bars and road trips still hold a fascination for me.
My parents divorced when I was four and my father never remarried. When he passed in 2004, I found a stash of “bar” photos he continued to take since the 70’s. They depicted the companions he used to hang with in the bars. Later photos revealed women that appeared to be my father’s support system and I wanted to honor that.
This selection of paintings tells the stories behind my road trips, a tribute to my single Dad and a changing world. Enjoy the adventure.
My primary medium is acrylic painting, secondary is mixed media assemblage.
Selected exhibition: SOMArts Cultural Center San Francisco, Los Gatos Museum of Art,
Joyce Gordon Gallery Oakland, Studio Gallery SF, Museum of Art and History Santa Cruz,
Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery UCSC, Queen Emma Gallery, Honolulu State Library,
Honolulu Hale, Ventura County Govt. Center.
Featured Publications: Sights About Town LA Times, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu Weekly, Bay Area Reporter and The Daily Californian
First Friday Artist Reception
Brianne Dawson at Stripe
Maggie Yee at Stripe Men
Friday, September 6th