The beauty of Pat Pollard's aesthetic is quietly stirring - pure, simple beauty of color and feeling and a continual expansion of expression. The knots of complexity ultimately …
The beauty of Pat Pollard's aesthetic is quietly stirring - pure, simple beauty of color and feeling and a continual expansion of expression. The knots of complexity ultimately resolve into pure beauty again once they hit the surface of the painting, lying there, pulsating in glorious color and tonality, delighted to exist as a painting emerging from Pat Pollard's psyche.
Pollard will be exhibiting her latest work during the month of October at Sage Fine Art Gallery, 115 East Plaza, on the southeast corner of Taos Plaza. She says in a press release that the new work encompasses both abstract and imaginary landscapes "in her signature style of mixed media on cradled panel." A reception for the artist will be held Saturday, (Oct. 13) at the gallery from 4- p.m. The reception is free and refreshments will be served.
"This recent work is more intuitive than ever," Pollard said in an interview last week, "and when I start a painting, unlike my previous constructions, I am comfortable not knowing the outcome - just trusting in the process to carry me along and letting the marks and colors emerge to surprise me. Composed of color layers that alternate warm and cool within a minimal structure, these pieces are deeply satisfying to me as continuing refinements of my personal aesthetic."
Originally established as a professional metropolitan advertising photographer of 35 years, she moved to Taos in 1990 to pursue fine art, a far cry from the hip, glitz and rewards of a high-end ad photography career. You would think having proven herself in a male-dominated profession she would hang on like a proverbial bulldog.
But there is a strange, almost defiant streak to Pat Pollard: tell her something is unlikely in her chosen field of endeavor, and it clicks something within. Living and loving Taos for more than 20 years while creating abstract acrylics and oils is a perfect example.
She "embraces the freedom of not knowing the outcome" when she begins a painting, she says. Her work is composed of "color layers that alternate warm and cool within a minimal structure and are inspired by the forms and textures of the natural world."
After moving through figurative sculpture, digital manipulation and printmaking, Pollard said she finally arrived at painting, yet, she adds, "I still employ mixed media in my two-dimensional paintings to create the textural surface and ambiguous color that have always been integral to my work."
Melissa Zink (1932-2009), genius multimedia figurative sculptor and bibliophile of Taos extraordinaire, was Pollard's primary mentor until Zink died almost 10 years ago. She fondly recalls haunting thrift shops and antique stores with Melissa for imaginative odds and ends to illustrate their iconic figurative sculptures of the moment. She came to realize at that point that she loves to build things with her hands.
Her mixed media assemblages drew on painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, stamping and sculpture to create finely nuanced, intricately layered wall pieces.
Subsequently she moved to digital work, printmaking and finally painting. She says it is "an intangible emotional response, through the intuitive process of painting, (that) becomes a visible metaphor. Photography taught me how to see; painting frees my mind."
Her first layer is always paper, and she starts with acrylics and then follows up with oils. She works out the color she is going for with the acrylic, which is fast-drying, and then the oils, using only her hands, never brushes - because she is a builder. She used to do three-dimensional collages in the mid- to-late '90s, a move from her "Vault" series, creating 3-D sculpture out of Sculpey polymer clay.
"I am always reactive, responding to things read or seen and personalizing them with my own terminology," she says in her online artist statement. "My latest work is more intuitive than ever and when I start a painting, unlike previous constructions, I am comfortable not knowing the outcome, just trusting in the process to carry me along and letting the layers, marks and colors emerge to surprise me."
She will also have her memoir, "Long Time Lost," at the reception, a startlingly honest record where being "both an adoptee and a birth mother, I share my journey from unloved child to incapable mother. And, finally, to the artist I am today."
For further information call (575) 758-9396 or see sagefineart.com
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