Intro by Jaymie Shearer, words by Andrea Welton
Andrea’s abstract expressionistic work comes from her roots growing up just blocks away from the ocean. She takes her experience in the outdoors and “translates” that onto canvas. In her pieces you will find bold movement, balance between positive and negative space, and color used the way you find it in nature.
My work consists of two modalities: my work in the studio and a practice of direct engagement with the landscape. The studio produces paintings and my direct engagement with the landscape produces photographs and drawings. I begin with hikes, camping trips, or road trips, during which I take photographs and later translate. One activity cultivates the other. Using these two types of practice I cultivate a sense of place. My painting practice allows access to landscape because my paintings function as a conduit even if not a direct representation. This happens because each painting is derived from a specific endeavor.
One way my painting acts as a conduit is by creating illusionistic space relating to the sublime and my application. The marks turn the painting into an illusionistic landscape space. The square does not privilege the vertical or horizontal or the art historical references that those embody. Instead it prioritizes painting as an object and allows me to interrogate how a painting is made and how it functions. Material difference manifests not just through oil, acrylic, and ink, but also corresponds to intensely different modes of application and the space that difference creates. Therefore marrying extreme delicacy with unappealing blobs.
The speed at which my paintings are produced relate to the history of abstract expressionism. Drawing from labor-intensive art histories, I invert them by transforming them into quick muscular gestures. The labor-intensive precedes the painting in regards to planned research so when the painting begins there is a speed and facility to it. Influenced by Chinese landscape painting, my work uses the abstraction of nature as an escape from everyday life. An extension of myself, my paintings express my values and the adoration I have for the outdoors, relaying to the viewer both a physical landscape as well as the inner landscape of me, the artist.
I grew up in Half Moon Bay, California about two blocks away from the ocean. The outdoors has always had a huge impact on my art practice. At the age of four my mother enrolled me into art classes and I’ve loved creating ever since. My family has always been one for adventures and I would come back to art class with photographs of places I wished to replicate.
The same goes for my practice now, except instead of representation I use abstraction. I am motivated by the colors of the landscape, how my paintings are working to transcend into the ethereal, and the notion of allowing others to experience a place they most likely would not on their own.
Andrea Welton currently lives in Orange County with her boyfriend and two dogs and attends Art Center College of Design, located in Pasadena, California. She graduates in April.
Photos (C) 2016 Andrea Welton