Monday, May 7, 2018

Words from Artist Paula Overbay

So happy to have Paula Overbay on the blog this week. I have been a fan for quite a while.


The Pale Blue Dot for Carl Sagan 11x16 inches Acrylic on Paper 2014-19 



1 Dream I 22x22 inches Acrylic on Wood 2018


“Impermanence is the very fragrance of our days” is Rainer Maria Rilke’s elegant way of speaking about inevitable change, something that has threaded its way through my work from the beginning.  

The idea continued to compress, concentrating on wind and rain and clouds and has shifted into molecules.

Molecules as metaphor: molecules growing in rain clouds or in our bodies pulsing or in the constellations moving.  

How did this happen?  I didn’t plan on making smaller and smaller paintings with smaller and smaller dots. 
 I wanted to make monumental work. You know; the important stuff…..



2 Dream II Acrylic on Wood 22x22 inches. 2018


While at the MacDowell Colony in NH some years ago I noticed a large pod of 
something on my porch wall. It slowly unfurled into luminous green wings with 
black spots and dried off in the sun. A lunar moth.  It went off for its day of living 
and I went off to work. Several years later I was making paintings with black dots
and several years after that I learned about luminosity.

After absorbing luminosity I found myself sitting bored for two weeks at the Ragdale Colony in IL. 
Nothing was worth doing. My eyes rested finally on 
the gray work table in front of me and I noticed the marks and 
dots and stray blobs left by other colonists.  I started copying them and before 
the six weeks were over I had evolved into the dot patterns that continue 
to energize my compositions.

Composition is the name of the game for me: mass, pattern, line, color, 
and value with movement given priority.  I set up a problem by scattering elements 
on a prepared ground and try to avoid making important 
compositional relationships for as long as possible.  When I am finally cornered 
into making decisions about connections I have to sit and look. Looking takes 
up about 60% of the time and painting takes the remainder.


Dissipation IIAcrylic on Paper 11x16inches 2017


I have followed Cy Twombly, Paul Klee, Roberto Matta and Friedrick Hundertwasser for as long as I can remember. I became a fan of Janice Caswell only recently.
They all speak of breathing and moving freely; of invention and play. 

Looking at Klee’s “Twitter Machine” made me think about images moving of 
their own volition.


Matta defies gravity and makes speedy gestural lines spinning and noisy. 


Hundertwasser knows about circles and spirals and intense color. 


Cy Twombly floats.



Janice Caswell, a contemporary Brooklyn artist, does off kilter unexpected constructions from reject materials and transcends the material.



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7 comments:

Lynette Haggard said...

Great post! I love the "nothing was worth doing" narrative.
Thanks to Paula and Lisa.

annell said...

I am confused? Are the paintings above by Paul Overbay? And the one at the bottom? Or are the paintings it the top by you? I enjoyed the article, even if I was confused.

Christine said...

I am a huge fan of Paula's work also. I can become totally lost in her universes. Like Lynette, I too related to the references to boredom and "nothing worth doing"...that tough in between space before the next inspiration begins. Such transportive work. Thanks Paula and Lisa!

bonny leibowitz said...

Beautifully written, I just love the work and coming to know your inner world and how things unfolded for you on these a bit better. Thank you Paula and Lisa, great post!

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