Suzanne Gernandt Artist Statement:
What are my paintings about, people sometimes ask. When it comes to abstract, non-representational work there is frequently a disconnect to a public more accustomed to viewing art with people, trees, mountains. Abstraction is about the felt rather than the seen.
For me, abstract painting is about the emotion that is behind the paint. The reaching inward to pull out the feelings. If it is authentic, it is about much more than splashing paint on a surface or recreating a scene from nature. It is about my response to another person, to nature, to music and the wholehearted expression of those feelings with paint and mark making.
I love the physicality of my chosen medium. Coming to painting after many years as a textile artist and surface designer, I am comfortable with and familiar with using my hands and my fingers, not just a paintbrush so I use tools such as sandpaper, mark making tools, scrapers and screwdrivers, crayons, pencils and much more to enrich my mark making vocabulary. Layering paint, revealing colors underneath, repeated over and over is a part of my process.
More than anything else, color is my muse, my guide to the world within me that needs to be expressed. I don’t think too much about what colors work well together, as in color theory, but rather how to use them to create the emotion to which a viewer can respond.