Copyright © 2016. Stephanie Shank. All Rights Reserved.
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My paintings are very accessible on a purely aesthetic level, but they touch on deeper issues if you allow yourself some time to absorb the imagery. My vision ranges from the literal to the conceptual, from abstract landscape paintings to figurative expressionism. I typically don't represent any of the elements of nature faithfully. The images are meant to touch the subconscious mind of the viewer, evoking a primal feeling and capturing a universal visual language. By painting with a spontaneous, gestural expression, my work informs a dynamic impression of raw emotion and the power of now.
Clearly, we are not born psychologically integrated, but become so through effort and growth. Our shadow side and our light side must learn to coexist. A certain consciousness of the split is part of being human. For me, this consciousness and process has been the life force of my expressionist aesthestic. My intent is to sustain an authentic vision and identity; my desire is to continue to create paintings that emotionally charge one out of normal habits of seeing. Color will always evoke a realm of feeling and memory for me. Through the language of color, non-referential mark-making, and gestural paint handling, my abstract expressionist paintings represent a culmination of an emotional experience relating to a balance between lightness and darkness, agitation and bliss. There is always some evidence of what came before, always uncertainty and inevitable change. In essence, the paintings are constructed as organically and irrationally as life itself.
"A really good picture looks as if it's happened at once. It's an immediate image.
For my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked, and you can
read in it, well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that there is
something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me. And I usually throw
these out, though I think very often it takes ten of those over-labored efforts to
produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronized with your head
and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute."
Abstract Expressionist Paintings