Throughout my artistic career, I have worked with themes. It wasn’t really a planned idea, but I’ve noticed that I’ve become fascinated and focused on ideas or a certain subject matter for much of my artwork, for a given time. Looking back, I realize that it started very early with my fascination with horses as a child. For several years, at that time, all I drew or painted was horses.
Although painting has been my preferred medium since the beginning of artistic career, and the area I majored in for my B.F.A., I enjoy exploring other media and disciplines, such as printmaking, and sculpture. I feel drawing is fundamental to any artwork, so am always sketching ideas, but have also created drawings which I consider completed pieces of art as well.
During my early studies at university, my artwork became more abstract. Although often some of my drawings and paintings appeared non-objective, they were always based on real life objects and places I saw, I simply abstracted the colors and shapes and interpreted those images. I became fascinated by marine life and driftwood, so many of my images at that time are reminicent of those natural forms. My work at that time was influenced by Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock and contemporary abstract expressionists
Most of my work appears “larger than life”. Perhaps influenced by my photography classes early in college, and due to my fascination with showing the viewer aspects of life that may be easily overlooked, I tend to magnify and crop a lot of my imagery.
A theme that evolved from my more abstract period was dissecting and magnifying fruit. I had sections of cut up fruit around my studio for months. Fortunately the painting that resulted were more visually appealing than the fruit, which started to mold while my subject matter of my artwork.
Another theme that I began to explore was architecture. I was fascinated with the angles, light, color and shapes within architectural forms. Also, the relationship of human presence without actually including the human form became a part of these paintings.
After my son was born, I began looking at subjects from a child’s viewpoint. Probably as a result of my tendency to magnify and enlarge subjects anyway, and my interest in architecture, I became fascinated by how large and architectural things appeared to a small child. The objects that were in my son’s environment became the subject of my artwork.
The interesting thing about working with themes is you can always revisit those themes in new ways. Since marrying my husband and moving to our small farm in Canada, I have come full circle and I have just started to explore the theme of horses again, but in new ways. As a child, my interest was in capturing the physical likeness of the horse, exploring the muscles, structure and proportion. My fascination now is more in their strength, personality, and symbolism. Also, when walking through the pasture, I found all the indentations in the earth from their hooves interesting, and relates to another new theme I have just started to explore – shoes.
Shoes may seem like an unusual theme, but I became interested in them while waiting at the Canadian Consulate for three hours to process our final immigration paperwork. I had my sketch book and pencils with me, so started sketching people. Often they would get up and move, but I was able to capture a few interesting sketches. I then noticed a couple of people with some interesting looking sneakers, so started sketching. What I found interesting was how people’s shoes and the way they positioned their feet expressed mood and personality.
Look for my finished artwork here and on my blog as I start to explore these themes further.
You can view more of Wendy Malowany’s artwork or purchase her work on the Gallery page.
|Also, you can connect with Wendy and view more of her artwork on her “My Artwork” set at Flickr.|