OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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September – The Call

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Paul Gunn
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Estuary at Gearhart
Allan Stephenson

Images come into my mind complete. I think and feel in pictures. They are a blending of images from the physical eye, memory, and the heart and mind's eye. Thinking and feeling in pictures seems to have no opinion; it is neither passive or active. It is both symbol and the real experience. I am a self taught painter and value a diverse and common visual vocabulary. I paint in alkyd (oil) on canvas, sometimes incorporating collage.

The dynamics inherent in contradiction and ambiguity fascinates me. It is at the heart of these images, but also fills my approach to painting itself. For example, I am attracted to the tension in combining spontaneous composition with focused technique. I have an image in mind but don't know how it will look to the eye – the raw canvas is both filled and completely empty. I enjoy bringing together loose flowing passages with points of intense detailed focus, and bringing abstract thinking together with realistic technique. I am interested in the role of dark feelings, thoughts and states of mind in the process of transformation. I am drawn to fire beneath reserve. And, curiosity, I find that the content of a picture is actual, literal depth and dimension in art. It includes not only the pointing finger but where the finger points.

I sometimes approach cultural myths that are 'background music' and have become such unconscious parts of us that they have almost turned into physical parts--unseen and taken for granted. What does it mean to taste the apple? What clothing do we wear on our minds? What is under our psychological clothing? Who look out from our eyes?

I frequently incorporate images of flowers and birds. A flower is both a sensual-every-day-temporal experience, and an emotional-poetic-purely-aesthetic-eternal experience. These images lead me to consider our inner flora and fauna, the 'unconscious' (for want of a better word). Religion, class, gender, race, age, custom, language, culture, and nature bloom and bear fruit in the mind, and so do everyday things like grocery shopping, dinner time, children's jokes, a garden.

Artist: Katherine Ace

Medium: Oil (Oil on Canvas)

Dimensions: 34″ × 46″

Location: 5 floor, #117 on the map