Carla Lobmier

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Private Pandemic

Botanical Alchemy offers the juxtaposition of a painting depicting lilies growing up from bits of steel, next to a painting presenting my text as a meditation for renewal. Painting undertakes both capturing time experienced during the pandemic, and grasping it back.

This piece began when I wrote the text. The imagery was imagined surrounding the words and divided between what the imagery might look like before the words were written and then after. Hence, the two companion canvases. The steel pieces were sewn to each canvas after the compositions were organized. Next, the paintings were developed with many layers of paint.

The subject matter of the Wait Around series moves among objects - a shamrock plant, chandelier, falling leaves, leaky faucet, black cat, elliptical calendars and tallies - to a shadowy figure and serves as metaphor for the sensation of 2020. The act of painting converts days, time, numbers to images of private contemplation.

This series was made on paper to allow for shifting compositions, as I considered the concepts for each piece as part of the set of six. Although each painting’s imagery was established, I examined how light and meaning might be shaped through the addition of collage papers to fine tune the pictures. The papers are my hand-painted pieces and are used to add light, remove light, create pattern and rhythm and provide further details. Detail in this work means both building somewhat chaotic movement and surface qualities, as well as providing information defining the content of each painting. Painting with pieces made for a flexible outcome for paintings conceived from definite ideas.

Backing up in time, Get Up, Stuck Inside, Halo, Rose-Colored Queens and FlipBook, March 2020 were the first pieces I made during the lockdown in March of 2020. FlipBook was the start. My companion text is offered as context for this time of making art in my studio.

Botanical Alchemy, left, acrylic/watercolor on canvas with hand sewn steel pieces 56.5″x19″ 2021

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Botanical Alchemy, right, acrylic/watercolor on canvas with hand sewn steel pieces 55.5″x30″ 2021

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Wait Around, 1 (Day), acrylic/mixed on paper with hand painted collage papers, 24″x18″ 2020

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Wait Around, 2 (Night), acrylic/mixed on paper with hand painted collage papers, 24″x18″ 2020

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Wait Around, 3 (Fall In), acrylic/mixed on paper with hand painted collage papers, 24″x18″ 2020

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Wait Around, 4 (Fall Out), acrylic/mixed on paper with hand painted collage papers, 24″x18″ 2020

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Wait Around, 5 (Falling), acrylic/mixed on paper with hand painted collage papers, 24″x18″ 2020

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Wait Around, 6 (like snow), charcoal/acrylic on paper, 25″x18″ 2020

Get Up, acrylic/mixed on paper, 26.5″x20″ 2020

Pie Stuck Inside, acrylic/mixed on paper, 22″x20″ 2021

Halo, graphite/mixed on paper with vellum overlay (graphite/mixed), 15″x12″ 2020

Rose Colored Queens, graphite on paper with graphite on vellum overlay, 9.25″x8.5″ 2020

Flip Book, March 2020, watercolor/graphite on paper with vellum overlay (watercolor/graphite), 46″x36″ 2020

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About Flip Book, March 2020