Abstract art, in all its forms, creates visual freedom from the constraints of reality; a breathe of fresh air from the smothering sameness of life.
It delivers a mysterious effect, an unfolding towards discovery. A process of excavation, inviting the viewer asks questions of themselves - What does it make me think about? Am I confronted with a particular color or shape? How does what I’m looking at make me feel?
It uses a visual language of shape, form, color and line to create compositions that exist with independence from visual references in the world. Often bearing no trace of reference to anything recognizable. Complete freedom.
The piece can be “about” the paint on the canvas; it can be “about” the process of painting for an artist personally; it can even be about the meaning of abstract art itself.
This, in part is the beauty of abstract art; it’s unknowable. It’s individual. It’s accessible only through the lens the viewer chooses to apply, regardless of the artist’s intention. Completely personal without dictation of what it should be.
Courageous exploration in its boldest form, for both the artist and the viewer.
The fine artists we are celebrating today understand this vibrant exploration. Using brilliant abstractions of color, emotions, contemplation, nature and the subconscious mind to take us on journeys of discovery. Moving us beyond the sameness and closer to freedom.
Artist - Madrid, Spain
María Álvarez Estévez is a fine artist based Madrid, Spain. Her oil and acrylic paintings are vibrant kaleidoscopes of color. She began to study drawing and painting at the age of 7 in the studio of the renowned painter Mingos Teixeira. There, she inherited the passion for color and contemplation.
When she turned 18, María moved to Madrid to pursue a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree both in Audiovisual and Applied Creativity Studies. This experience expanded her concept of image and opened her the door to other forms of art such as film, photography and graphic design.
Her art is based on mental passages and richness of color, through nature, wildlife and sometimes abstract scenes, where you can find the inspiration of the Impressionist and landscaper painters.
Artist - San Francisco, CA
Fine Artist Randy Titchenal grew up in Alaska. Surrounded by the dynamic climate and unforgiving elements in Alaska he became aware of how perilous and fragile the human existence is in the wilderness. “We have a deep connection to the physical world and I'm interested in depicting that from a dreamlike, removed vantage point,” he says. “These paintings are about implied topography and symbolic signage. They are about places I've seen and felt, and about places I've imagined.”
The motifs are grounded in, and contain the elements of land, water and sky.
Completing his education a the Rochester Institute of Technology BFA in Printmaking Titchenal currently resides in California with a studio in Mission district of San Francisco. “The light and the landscape here in the bay area inspire me as well,” says Titchenal.
Artist - San Francisco, CA
Translating mental imagery into paint, Shawn Vales' process begins with visualization. In meditation he empties his mind and allows color and form to manifest. The energy, sensuality and relativity of this powerful impression is experienced by the heart. It is an abstract feeling he parallels with asymmetrical balance- a balance not easily deduced, but simply 'felt'.
Vales composes abstract elements with principles of design; using intuition and method he creates the structure and relativity of his work. He allows color and texture to communicate energy and sensuality. The unique qualities of each visualization bring variety to his approach and process. It inspires Vales to develop innovative ways to apply and manipulate paint.
With regard for the principle of polarity, contrast plays an important role in his decision making. Juxtaposing the seemingly loud activity, there is a quiet stillness present in his art reminiscent of a suspended moment. This is achieved by balancing the tension of thick and thin textures, warm and cool temperatures, soft and hard edges and active and passive areas. Vales' body of work is unified by his refined technique and continuous practice of connecting to self.
Shawn lives and works between his place of origin, New Jersey, and the San Francisco Bay Area. He enjoys playing chess and reading most of all.
Artist - Austin, TX
Stephanie Estrin is a self-taught abstract artist with a love for bold color. She grew up in Montreal, Quebec and currently resides in Austin, Texas. Her work explores the relationship of human nature and emotions. Her primary source of inspiration comes from color and shape. Her art is characterized by vibrant colors, contrasting shapes, and bold compositions.
Ms. Estrin is the recipient of an Honorable Mention for her painting "Lost and Found" from the Round Rock Arts 2015 Big Show in Round Rock, Texas. The juror, Deborah Johnson stated, “Very strong composition. I find myself thinking it is totally abstract until I find a bit of reality, then lose it again. Variations in values and intensity help build this piece. Great painting.”
She has exhibited her art work in group and juried exhibitions in the Austin area as well as online exhibitions; including the 6th Annual Abstract Art Show from Light, Space & Time Online Gallery in which she won the Third Place Award.
Her art work is in many private residences throughout the U.S. as well as collected internationally in Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Slovenia and Australia. In 2014, she had a painting published in a book called Inspirational Quotes Illustrated: Art and Words to Motivate by Lesley Riley.
She is currently a member of the Austin Visual Arts Association and the Creative Arts Society in Austin, Texas.
Artist - Portugal
Catarina Vieira Pereira is a fine artist exploring the dynamics between photography and painting. Based in Portugal, she goes by the artistic name Vieira Pereira. She has a college degree in Visual Arts and New Media at the School of Arts and Design of Caldas da Rainha and a master degree in Fine Arts from the same school.
The subject of her master's thesis is: “Photography Painting: ephemerality, metamorphosis and action in academic route”. In her artistic research she questions the limits of painting, if it could be in the “expanded field”, like Rosalind Krauss proposed to the sculpture.
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