Martha Bedrosian         Paintings   
Artist Statement

Color is paramount to my paintings.  Klee's idea of "becoming one with color" has always captivated me, and all my work, whether expressionistic, abstract, or figurative, reflects my passion for and assiduous exploration of color, in both its surface qualities and its powerful suggestive capacity.

Until 1988 I had painted in gouache. When I began to explore watercolor I adopted a freer technique and a larger arm movement or gesture. Through my study of dance, I developed a sense of movement and momentum, of gesture and flight, and a heightened kinetic awareness of space that was directly related to the expression of the body "drawing" in physical space.

I have been exploring the possibilities of landscape, but not on-site landscape painting of actual observed places. My current work shows two variations on the imagined landscape theme.  In the "white" series of watercolors on traditional  white paper, I am exploring the natural elements of fire, earth, air, water, space. I use forms and forces and atmospheres from nature in a purely imagined way.  The bold, perhaps calligraphic linear forms in contrast to the nuanced streaks, swirls, and flamelike shapes have opened up new ways to suggest light, movement and the sensation of forms colliding in a shallow space.  The white of the paper is a dynamic color force in itself. 

In the series on black paper, I was inspired by 18th century Indian miniature paintings, particularly the nocturnal landscape scenes.  Although the color palette in both series is essentially the same, the effects of the colors are radically different.  Again the black is used as a color.

In an ongoing series of fruit "portraits" I have attempted to capture the essence  of favorite fruits. They are not naturalistic depictions, and yet they are recognizably fruits. The fruit is painted from life. The first series from 1978 were miniature gouache paintings of grapes and plums. Current fruit portraits are in watercolor and include pears, peaches, plums, figs, and eggplants. 

During the 1990s I began  to study the later paintings of Kandinsky.  The series of small watercolors called "Homage to V.K." is inspired by those coloristic abstractions. Most are in a square format and use both geometric forms and free gestural strokes.

The watercolor medium has been a source of constant experimentation as I attempt to go beyond conventional techniques while still aspiring to the lightness and luminosity so particular to this medium.  I hope to challenge spatial perception and to stimulate visual, emotional, musical and kinetic responses as well as something ineffable and nonverbal - felt, but not completely known.



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