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2009 Showcase I: Stonemetal Press


In my studio,  I usually think in terms of  mini-narratives and metaphors. The formal elements come later, after I begin to work on an image.Leaving specific information out helps make the images more open to the viewer. The finished image may not have the same associations or meanings for viewers, but it might.

Recently I've been venturing into Textille Art, using print processes on cotton rather than paper. This has been really fun, I'm interested to see how far I can go with it--
I was diagnosed with talent at an early age, and was always the artist of the family. I was proud of my draftsmanship, but as time went by, I realized that I couldn't take credit for my talent; it was a gift. What I do take credit for is the effort I have made through the years to master my craft, those areas of printmaking that I focus on: mezzotint, etching and linoleum. My preferred subject is the human face and figure.  I am fascinated by faces, and in trying to capture them I increase my understanding of what it means to be human.
My art is developed from a narrative fragmenting of images. My childhood was rich with colorful characters, steel magnolias and a confluence of mixed messages. The consequence of this is a creative ability to find humor in most things. My aesthetics reflect these poetic dichotomies: beauty with calculation, the bitter with the sweet, the humorous with the serious; the literary with the familiar; clandestine moments with collected observations. I enjoy the play of metamorphic connections with the subconscious and senses. Sexual entendre and duality of meanings are explored with symbolic and psychological innuendo. Images are juxtaposed, altered, and accessoried with a tongue-in-cheek attitude to form the focus of my work.
Veronica Ceci is an artist, Master Printer, independent curator and educator living in Austin, TX. Her work has recently been featured in exhibitions at The Manhattan Graphics Center in NYC, The Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, TX and Werkstadt in Berlin, Germany.
       Lately when I create art it is about getting out of my own head. Letting go of control over the world and planning every minute. It is a kind of meditation that allows my emotions to spill onto the page without being filtered, judged, and edited. I try to let my subconscious direct the process. I like to use organic materials I collect from my yard and on walks. I also use cut paper and found objects in my work. I love that what is essentially a weed can turn into something beautiful on the page and it has given me a new way of looking at the world around me. I have found that art helps me to be more intuitive, creative, and relaxed in all aspects of my life.

I strive for Magritte's basic intention, to make art with a "disturbing poetic effect."Ě My work presents exotic subjects in the drama of black and white, or the subtle monochromatic tones of printers' inks. The prints are based on my photos of real places and slightly mysterious objects that are embraced by a post-apocalyptic anxiety, which induces a state of psychological unease in the viewer. The images raise questions, but knowing the back story doesn't necessarily provide comfort. The result is by turns intimate, earthy, fragile, universal, and contemporary. The images are full of the organic subtlety showing the naked beauty of weathered rock and plants, contrasted with man-made architectural elements. The organic elements complement the man-made. In purely aesthetic terms, the works use an interplay of tones and textures, with formal qualities of composition in the arrangements of objects under the viewer's gaze. The unfamiliar induces a state of ambiguity mixed with a strange longing or nostalgia. The camera captures temporal events, figurative and narrative, fragments in the cycle of life and death. History is revealed in multiple layers with an underlying order and inherent drama exposed in contrast and detail, painterly and sculptural at the same time.

My Dad died in 2006 after much suffering. Right after I returned to Houston, a blue jay flew into my kitchen window. The impact broke his neck. A few weeks later, not really knowing where I was going with my art, I looked in the flower bed and found his skull and began sketching. As I was trimming some bushes another day, I found his wing--a bone with  the feathers still attached. More sketching. More studying. More searching.

My Dad asked me right before he died, "What is going to happen? Is there something else?" I could not answer his question. But I have found my own answer.
 
I am content in my belief that each day gives us quite enough, if we take the time to look. In the end it is all of life's detritus littering my landscapes--physical and personal--that bring meaning to my life, and my work.

I discovered printmaking relatively late in life when I took my first printmaking class in 2001. I like the process and the surprises inherent in printmaking. I am continually amazed that I am able to overcome the mess and the dirt that are part of printmaking, but I like the creativity the process brings about. 
I often use my own handmade paper for my printmaking, and I love how the unique characteristics of the paper influence the final print. I am also a gardener, and this is perhaps why I like to use images that appear in nature in my artwork (and in some ways my art is an extension of my gardening). 

I was living in New Mexico when a fortuitous requirement of printmaking coursework for my graduate program in art therapy led me to expression in another medium. Since that time I have been exploring printmaking and creating soft ethereal-like inspirational images. The circle or circular movement can often be seen in my artwork. The circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning--a continuous symbol that has no beginning and no end. Throughout my life I have created circles, benefiting from the sense of comfort, peace, and total integration.

How I feel when I am making art is perfectly described in what Don Miguel Ruiz says: "When you are in your creation and you are doing what you love to do, you become what you really are again. You are not thinking in that moment; you are expressing.Ē I love being in that space where I am not really thinking, I am expressing what I am feeling inside. One could say that I make art to please the eye and touch the soul.

Melanie is an experimental media artist and printmaker with an affinity for color and texture. Her work embodies the historically iconic and metaphorically rich and expressive imagery of the horse. Her focus is not necessarily upon the physical aspect of individual breeds, but upon the unique and universal attributes of legendary equus and its dialog with the human spirit.
I have a fascination with nature and I love collecting seeds, bones, and oddities I find in the streets. These often inspire ideas along with images I dream. The evolution of those ideas through drawing and the solar intaglio printmaking process is challenging but exciting. Imagination plays a big part in the formation of images and I find it satisfying when it all comes together.
I enjoy creating art from life. I feel that we are the sum of our experiences and that each moment is an opportunity to become something more. I think we should cherish the mundane, the every day, and the daily routines as they are the root of our personality, the fundamental base of who we are, and which contain the most comfortable moments of our lives.
 
Aside from subject matter I like to blur the border of media. I felt I had reached a peak in my drypoint line drawings. I have always been drawn to charcoal; the softness of the tone; the fragility of the medium. At any moment the marks could be blown or rubbed off the paper. I felt it would be a great achievement to create a reproducible print which captured the very essence of charcoal. Working with hand tools only using roulettes, sandpaper, a drypoint needle, and a scraper/burnisher I have successfully achieved my goal and feel that I have much more to learn.
I'm fascinated with the printmaking process, especially the delightful surprises that come the first time a new plate is pulled. I gravitate towards the textural effects of collagraphs finding platemaking is only limited by one‚€ôs imagination. My work has been exhibited throughout the US but primarily in Texas, with a second solo show on the books for Chicago in 2015.

When in the print studio, I most frequently create Monotypes/Monoprints and, because of the freedom this process allows, these prints become wonderful partners to my paintings.

I enjoy blending narrative and portraiture (and sometimes a bit of humor) into my works. My style is influenced by the German Expressionists and the American Social Realists.

My work has been collected and shown internationally and nationally.


Exhibition Details
WHEN:
3/14/2009 - 4/30/2009
WHERE:
Stonemetal Press, San Antonio, TX
CONTACTS:
Chair: Jo Lagattuta
Participate
Event Deadline
The deadline for this event (3/6/2009) has passed.