ONE PIECE: PRISCILLA STEELE
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ONE PIECE: PRISCILLA STEELE

 

We asked Priscilla Steele to give us some background on one piece hanging in her current exhibit at Olson-Larsen. Her response was as rich and lively as her works!  Which, by the way, are on view until MAY 28.

I was excited to deliver the series of monumental drawings of amaryllis to Olson Larsen for this show. This is a flower that activates the space it occupies with such drama! Both its depth and breadth  provide an incomparable subject in texture, light, and organic grace. In this latest suite, I have pushed the scale of the drawings by adding a foot to the width. While underscoring an ambitious embrace of scale, the additional width allows for a drawing that explores more than a single blossom in more challenging compositions.

SPRING AMARYLLIS III, Pigmented charcoal, 48 x 60 inches

A surprise in the creation of this suite arose in the discovery of a new material, "pigmented" charcoal. Like most printmakers, I find great expressive power in the rich tonality of blacks that can be achieved with charcoal. And, I have used charcoal in tandem with earth toned pastels, enjoying the counterpoint of nuanced color with black. The pigmented charcoal, however, proved so compelling a drawing tool -yielding the lightest, softest areas of textures that mimicked the the floral delicacy of my subject, while simultaneously allowing me to incorporate deep saturated areas of color. I felt no need to use black for its graphic impact. Instead, the ochre of this suite of drawings remains distinctly floral. To emphasize this point, I felt it important to provide the working studies that I created directly from observation. The viewer can contrast the use of black in these early efforts with the final drawings. While evoking the moodiness that dramatic lighting can have, I found that the monochromatic interpretations of the final drawings reinforced their beauty with a potent reserve.

 

05/12/2016 4:30 PM |Add a comment
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