It's all been done before. I admire artists and am influenced by Chuck Close, Joan Miro, and Cy Twombly among others. My mind spins with visual history I find overwhelming. Then my attention rests on my work, which in every sense rests on me. I'm self absorbed. I come from honesty in my approach, making work that isn't always pretty. These pieces are about emotion, often without cognitive consideration: recording reality with a twist and my own hypersensitive view. Like tripping on the way out the door I often leave the room laughing after spending hours with a piece that seems to me overly serious after being haunted by it for ages, then releasing it into a visual statement. These images come to me in the shower, theater, market, and street complete with smells, sounds, and visions seldom shared until they are actualized.
As I make these pieces, my thoughts become images - a visual vocabulary that I call up again and again. This work is a visual diary.
My work has evolved from hyperrealism to a kind of psychological surrealism. I visually explore my thoughts on my experiences and emotions. They hit me with the immediacy of knowing: Before I begin I can see what an image will look like. It is as if I have explained something of myself to myself.
I compose from real objects and the people around me. I draw both from color photographs and from life, often mixing them together to articulate what I feel. Graphite pencil and graphite powder are the primary media, with paint or chalk pastel sometimes added later in the process.
This work is personal. I've worked through most life events in this way. This body of work represents domestic violence (Michael Thought and It Doesn't Matter), parenting (Moon Shadow), the death of my mother (Medicine Piece) and peace (that would be everything else).
I am visually charged by my environment, thoughts, and a family of friends. These images make perfect sense to me. My hope is that they will speak to you.
For more information contact Sherrie at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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© Sherrie Pettigrew