Monday, May 1, 2017
No green tube paint will ever, or can ever, mimic the greens of the natural world. I struggled for years, wondering which green most closely resembled nature. And I came close when I said, 'chrome oxide green'; however, now I feel that no straight green from a tube is natural. Mixed greens are more natural, more real to what we are capable of seeing with our eyes. And greens are highly dependent upon their environments and surroundings in order to look correct or 'right'. For this reason, green is a difficult color with which to paint. Think of a painting that has attempted to use all green and has successfully pulled it off. I cannot. Perhaps this has become my new challenge: an attempt at green. So much of woodland green is black or dark brown. And so much of garden green is actually more focus on the colors of surrounding flowers. Green is more than a mix of blue and yellow...it is chlorophyll. Is it possible to capture and paint the effects of chlorophyll? Is that why green is so hard to paint with? If it is, that means green is largely dependent on the sun for its physical properties. So then, what does this mean for all the other colors?
-an excerpt from my journal 7/31/07
Friday, March 3, 2017
Memory: sitting & looking, thinking, reflecting, remembering. It's a tricky thing sometimes. It is part of us. It helps make, create and, at times, define us. I have a friend who swears by my memory and would not question it (as they say, 'an elephant never forgets'); though sometimes I do, based on memory jogs, internal brain misfirings and of course, self doubt. Regardless, memory has always been strong with me, ingrained or perhaps burned into my brain. At times it's hard to forget and others hard to let go. There's both good memories and those that aren't so good, but all those were once experiences that helped shape who we are. In growth, we take the good memories with the unpleasant ones. I find sometimes that it's the unpleasant ones that at times are the most defining, leading to growth of character. And as such, I love the memory of dreams; I don't mean the 'hopes and dreams' in life, but our actual dream state of sleep. There is something even more peculiar about that type of memory, because many times a dream memory is not so lucid, but rather, tiny bits of information processing in a different functional state, conscious memory vs. sleep-dream sequence, or some filtering of both. Like a definition, I find writing it all down, yet another function of memory, a written remembrance to look back upon from time to time; much like the art being created to feel and convey the physicality of memory.
* the image is one of my 6"x6" encaustic paintings, combining layered papers, pigments and drawings: loose images I had saved in a sketchbook from 2004, text from a recent read, and a paper printout of memory that a peer had randomly handed me while teaching a class. To see more in this series, please visity my website: http://www.aliherrmann.com
Friday, August 15, 2014
Recently I took a trip to the beautifully bucolic, Asheville, North Carolina. I was staying with a friend in Raleigh and traveling around the state to search for potential places to relocate. In the past, my memory of traveling to Asheville was at night, either in complete darkness or during a rain storm, white knuckling the winding, uphill roads that lead there. This time it was a bit different; while still experiencing the travel at night and somewhat white knuckles, I did it with my friend Jen, so we could talk through it together and used Air B&B to find a place to crash for the night. The following day spent in Asheville, we experienced the River Arts District and saw some exceptional arts & crafts, walked a bit around downtown and stopped at a few local watering holes with too many great craft beer selections to mention here, and crashed locally upon the kindness of strangers, before heading back to Raleigh. At the crack of dawn, when the first signs of light began to appear, we climbed the hilly paths and started the next part of our journey home. This time however, the mountains seemed welcoming, even though we were leaving. They enveloped our path home and we were guided by the most amazing, hazy morning sun rise, as if we were following the sun home. This small 6" x 6" encaustic piece titled 'Heartland' is a momento of that trip.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I don't quite know how to describe it, but when the new year rolls around, I feel somehow different, as if the world around me is changing and I'm not quite ready to settle into it. I don't have a brainstorm of life altering ideas....and with my art, I like to keep that ball rolling from the year's end. Thankfully I've had a few custom requests to keep me busy on that end! So today, while I was preparing my papers and materials for one such request, I decided that I would create a piece that symbolized my current mood...one of floating, drifting, and moving in a direction to unknown changes and distant horizons. It's no surprise that I used this murky, yet fiery orange: one of my favorite colors to wear. However, while I was making this piece, I began to wander in the dreamy floating of these pods, that they began to take a journey to uncharted visions. Somewhere while getting lost, I realized that I felt like I should be on Mars, alone, searching for whatever it is that evokes that new year feeling.