Carla Lobmier


Artist Statement

Comes a time to settle on a place. One's mind drifts and lifts and carries. The art is the evidence of the scurry as well as the travel. How to make the drift one's own? This can be clumsy business and requires protection of one's ideas, point-of-view, emotions and observations. Each painting must carry the memory of my own visual pleasure, but there must be something more for the picture to ignite. This search is also accompanied by a resting of the mind to invite contemplation. The equation is layered. While imagery and abstraction are often both featured in my painting, the subject is elliptical: inside/outside; stillness/motion; edge/reflection; water/air; layers/surface; flicker/expansion; internal/external.

Inside/outside has long been a feature of both my vellum work and acrylic paintings. Nature’s forms suggest other forms inside and outside, as do overlapping shapes in shifting scale.

The vellum scrolls unfold in time before the eyes. Imagery shifts and connects as the viewer’s eyes travel with the horizontal or vertical scrolls (a format influenced by Japanese tradition) or from piece to piece in a vellum series (suggesting multiple views not unlike an Asian scroll as it unrolls and reveals). I rely on the viewer to look within the layers of the vellum paper to take in the imagery’s subtlety and transitions between paint, graphite, scale and the two surfaces.

The painterly, layered surfaces of the acrylic paintings share the same co-existing multiple points of view as the watercolor work. The acrylic paintings start from an internal place and become external in the making. The watercolors begin with external observations (often, a place) and take form through an internal processing of what is seen.

My painting is a critique of art lacking in visual mystery and expansiveness. Metaphor in paintings invites viewer private contemplation and drift. Painting has been relegated to a position of defending its standards. Yet, the beauty of metaphor in tandem with questions in an open-ended picture is a thread in the history of art that I want to catch hold of. In counterpoint, the art should reflect its time. My aim is to present paintings that slow down the noise and invite the viewer's mind and spirit to travel as far as the painting can lead.