Judith Cunningham: New Pastels
Portland OR Jul 1-31, 2004
Judith Cunningham, Cathedral II (2004), pastel on paper [Attic Gallery, Portland OR, Jul 1-31]]
Based in Hood River, landscape artist Judith Cunningham draws her inspiration from the rolling hills and clear valleys of eastern Oregon. From the Colombia Gorge to Steens Mountain, she is stimulated by the simple skies, wheat fields, rocks and rivers. Her work projects her internal need for the serene emptiness of open spaces. Void of human presence, Cunninghams images radiate the freedom and quietude of unbound spaces.
Cunningham has worked exclusively in pastels since 1985. She is dedicated to the purity of pastel hues. Even as a self-taught artist, Cunningham exhibits mastery over the technique of pastel drawing. She uses her camera to capture both immaculate compositions and fleeting impressions, which then become source images for her studio work. She particularly seeks instances when cloud formations are robust or patterns of shadows are compelling. Through her drawing, she strives to find a divine aesthetic and share her insights with others.
The artist writes, While working, I relate only to surfaces. Thus much of the transmission of subtle intuitive feelings about a subject is sub-conscious. In works like Cathedral II, she pays homage to the pristine and captivating beauty inherent in nature. With such close proximity to spectacular scenery, Cunningham is able to observe seasonal changes in colour and the transitional patterns of light, most prominent during the evening, when colours deepen and light recedes. Her pastels preserve an ethereal sense of spirit through their refined style, sharp contrast, saturated palettes and vibrant sense of luminosity