Jeannine Carson

I am fascinated with the evocative nature of color and how the perception of color forms a subjective response. It is estimated that the human eye can distinguish a range of 10 million hues. This fact is exhilarating to me as an artist because it means there exist infinite number of color combinations, interactions and possibilities to pursue in paint. I am also interested in pattern, particularly those that are composed by the tessellation of a single element. The methodic repetition induces a sense of peacefulness only to be lost and regained due to the fact that the hand can never attain perfect regularity. My intension is to explore how color coupled with intricate compositions work towards, or against, a pleasurable experience.

My process always begins with a predetermined question, the solution to which I wish to discover in the painting. Ultimately the finished work provides an answer, often not what I had expected for even if I intellectually understand a concept under investigation, the action of painting it provides an experience of the answer. It’s the difference between reading a book about childbirth and actually experiencing it. For example, my initial query is a formal one such as “how does the spectrum of color interact with three different values of grey”? The answer, expressed in formal terms of the painting, often becomes a metaphor for an issue that I am experiencing in my life. The full spectrum of color represents, to me, the range of experiences possible in my life, the three values of grey are an abstract stand it for three ways I could choose to react. It is in this way my personal expression enters, and interacts with, my work.

Because the human eye is a sensitive instrument of perception, the hard edge of color abstraction that I pursue requires a constant striving for perfection. Even the mildest irregularity will draw the eye and disrupt the viewer’s experience. By definition, being human means never quite getting to perfection. Thus, I learn daily that there always remains “one more adjustment”. The challenge of my art lies in the ongoing decisions as to whether to let the “mistakes” be the idiosyncrasies in the work, making it an expression of my individuality, or to address them with my brush. The striving towards mastery is constantly tempered by the learned wisdom that perfect order can never be attained. Through the wrestling of that tension and ultimately through surrender and acceptance I find the process of painting cathartic.