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Maine Home + Design - 2013

by Britta Konau

In pursuit of expression, the creative mind does not readily adhere to categorical boundaries.

The diversity of an artist’s oeuvre often speaks to the passion, but also obsession, behind the urge to communicate in artistic terms. Some artists move between the visual arts and other avenues of expression, including writing, music, and dance. However, for most, creative diversity is more subtly realized.

Pursuing an idea with disregard to perceived boundaries between mediums and genres may feel natural to the artist but will often surprise onlookers who get a chance to view an artist’s full scope of expression. This year’s artist listing focuses on a selection of visual artists with more than on distinct body of work. They may work in more than one medium, shift between two and three dimensions, or switch from one subject matter to another, concurrently or over time. This shift can be as simple, or as complicated, as changing scale or moving between black-and-white and color.

For some artists, shifting between studio and plein air practice results in different subjects and/or working across artworks. This becomes particularly obvious when an artist switches between techniques that are more intuitive on the one hand, as painting can be, and more rational ones on the other, embodied by some forms of photography, for instance. Even within a single medium, very different outcomes emerge as the artist consciously exercises varying levels of control.

A desire for a straightforward shift in the physicality of working can also be at the root of a change of techniques. For some artists, switching back and forth between mediums and dimensions makes up a large part of the raison d’etre for their work and turns it into an evolving process.
Whatever an individual artist’s reason for an expansion of artistic expression, it universally provides additional perspectives. While one work may appear radically different from another on the outside, each is really a natural continuation of its creator’s concerns and interests.