Musings and Markings: A Non-blog

Paula Roland

June 20, 2016
(Republished from a letter dated July 27, 2015)
"Art is not just an object of observation but also an agent of critical expression that informs and enlivens everyday perception" 
Danielle Kalamaras 



I have resisted starting a blog for years. However,  I occasionally want to share thoughts and new works with you. So why not an occasional non-blog? This is the first, and maybe not the last, Non-Blog. 

At this writing, I'm preparing for an upcoming workshop on mark-making and my thoughts have turned to markings. Our marks, from scuffed footprints to drawings, are records of our presence and part of our personal language. People recognize us through them. Our art gains insight, expression, and clarity through their variance.
PAULA ROLAND    Boing!  Encaustic monotype triptych, Shikoku paper,  39" 78". (Sightlines Series)
In my recent series, Sightlines, the marks are a way of combining movement (gesture) and thought (structure). The works are a quest to broaden perception, to see more and understand more. To some they recall contour maps, which is appropriate since finding my way in art and life is always a goal.
PAULA ROLAND   Traces V, Encaustic monotype on Thai Kozo, 12" x 12". (Sightlines Series)

To create a mark enlivens the page, divides the space, makes a statement. Marks speak of our deepest emotions or our coolest calculations. This abstract language can  speak more than words.


"In the life of the stroke there was more than shape-- motion and change were there as well. The growth of the line--its emergence from nothing, its speed, rhythm, length and directional changes--presented another key to the understanding of the world. And Prehistoric man could not escape the magic impact of the suddenly emerging line."  Gyorgy Kepes    


With these thoughts in mind,  I share with you some images from a few of the many artists who have studied with me. Below are post-workshop works that show how their mark-making has impacted current works.
Dorothy Gantanbien

This simple collage enlivens the senses and imagination. As a photographer, Dorothy says she never realized she was mark-maker until the workshop. (Mark-making 2014). Collage above is recent.

Katie O'Sullivan
In the recent Intro class Katie was readily recognized for her mark-making skills, honed in the class she took last summer. The image above is from the recent class. 
(Mark-making, 2014; Intro Monotype 2015).
Amelia Currier
In the Advanced Encaustic class, we begin outdoors with spontaneous whole-body exercises using the "Big Brush" and India ink. Amelia recounts, "This exercise caused a creative paradigm shift that has stayed with me". (Intermediate/Advanced Encaustic, 2012; Advanced Encaustic, 2013). Image above is more recent.  
Catherine McGuinness
Catherine "Cat" McGuinness crops her encaustic monotype scrolls and refines them with surface marks to give them new life as stand-alone pieces. (Monotype + More, 2011; Mark-making, 2015).
Alissa Warshaw

Alissa has incorporated the ink work into her ongoing studio practice. She says that  

these workshops always provide the inspiration and space which allows for doors to open that she didn't even realize were closed. (Mark-making, 2014; Intermediate Monotype, 2015)





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