Sunday, October 20, 2013

East Meets West: A Panel Discussion

I was invited to participate in an Artist panel discussion at LQM Gallery, 165 State Street in the Harris Building Atrium in New London, CT, yesterday. The topic was "East meets West: A Prospective." It was a wonderful exploration of women artists and cultural impact.

Four Chinese women painters; Yuling Guan, Zhang Shuyun, Ben Ni, and Xu Chunli are part in the International Contemporary ArtSpace International Residency program hosted by the gallery. The American women artists, also painters included myself, Afarin Rahmanifar (hosting), Leeah Joo, Bridget Grady, Judith Osborne and Blanche Serban, were invited to speak at the panel.

This panel provided a unique opportunity for Chinese women artists and American artists to get together with the help of a translator to talk about specific details of their work and life as American and Chinese women artists. Each artist had work hung in the gallery so we could ask questions specific to the work as we experienced it.

Visual art is truly a universal language. I was amazed at how many similarities we all had as women artists. There were more similarities, than differences. Topics we discussed centered around types of opportunities women in China had for exhibition, what was the inspiration for our work, and how was being in America for the first time influencing their art practice.

I brought two paintings into the gallery to share. One was a small plein air work done on site in Nantucket, MA and the second painting was a work on Yupo, sumi ink and oil paint. My painting done on Yupo with oil was of great interest to the Chinese artists, because it came from my mind rather than direct observation. Based in Lyrical Abstraction, I pay great attention to the brush stroke and use intuitive color to create form. I'm also interested in capturing the energy of an object to elicit feeling. My approach is very much in keeping with traditional Chinese ink brush painting and Taoist philosophy.

"Fern" 18"x 24" Yupo, sumi ink and oil