Carla Lobmier



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.

Pieces in a series suggest multiple views similar to an Asian scroll that unrolls and reveals. I work both with paintings in a series as well as large-scale watercolor vellum scrolls. Multiple points of view and shifting scale have long been among the pictorial devices in my work. The concepts of inside/outside, and exploiting dualities of looking, are part of both my watercolor and acrylic painting. Overlapping images in shifting scale suggesting multiple points of view are a metaphor of how I think we experience the world. Abstraction and representational forms are fused with the aim of metaphorical content.

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. 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 invites viewer private contemplation and drift. I hope to slow down the noise and create a paradoxical visual and intellectual space that privileges thinking and imagination. 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 counterpart, the art should reflect its time. Recently, inside/outside has grown with content-sourcing outside myself. I am interested in how we connect as a community and how art might shape and improve the way we do so. How to create an intellectual exchange with a viewer within the context of the art piece, while still offering an immersive, private, meditative experience? How might a public project invite a shift in how a viewer sees himself/herself, others and the shared environment? I am curious about how the art can signal the tone for experience. Projects investigating the community in this way have broadened my relationship with my viewer. While my painting point of view includes the history of art and remains picture-making as metaphor, it now joins with a painting investigation that reflects its time.