Weldon & Hauck Collaboration

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Wendy Weldon

Much has changed in the last few months…I am not searching for calmness in the work as intently as I did during the pandemic escalation this past year. Now I try to embrace the chaos, temper it, allowing its visibility. Chaos brings energy to the work.

My internal battle of trying to make order out of the chaos takes place on the canvas or panel. There are moments when I find a resting place and a painting may reflect that place. Or I may feel agitated and that painting may reflect that uneasiness. And then with a change of energy, the agitation gets quieted or the calmness may be disturbed.

On Process

When I believe that there are simple solutions in my work, immediately I know that I am wrong. Complexity, although confusing, is the answer every time. I want spaces cleaner and simpler but it is the layers that provide meaning. I apply paint, then sand some areas, apply more paint and maybe sand again. Sanding reveals the layers of color underneath that gives the work transparency in contrast to the opacity of the un-sanded areas. The layers offer mystery. The layers ask questions.

The viewer may find some pieces tranquil and others tumultuous. Many paintings are a combination of these two states of being. My hope is that the viewers are visually stimulated and that my paintings continue to offer up new insights each time they view them. Perhaps for the viewers there may be more questions than answers.

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Rob Hauck

The Post-Impressionist Maurice Denis (1870-1943) said a painting, figurative or conceptual, was "a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order." According to artist Skip Lawrence, an abstract painter such as myself is "painting what you cannot see." To paraphrase Jackson Pollack: 'contemporary abstract artists work with space and time, and express their feelings rather than illustrating.' I paint to capture a sense of a time, place, experience, or emotion with color, line, marks, form, and texture as my tools. Ambiguous Loss, pictures unresolved loss; Reflection #1 and #2 address place and time — aerial views above the cloud cover reflected on the water below.

I write mysteries involving art crime and can spend hours working in my garden. My painting, writing, and gardening involve adding texture, color, and form and subtracting everything redundant or superfluous to arrive at a nuanced expression of an idea or state of being.

On Process

I begin with a small brush and add lines of color on the blank canvas or paper. With larger brushes, I vary hues, shapes, light, and dark as an image emerges. Forms appear, disappear, and reappear. Lines, color, and texture disappear under layers of paint, yet their energy remains. I use brushes, palette knives, mediums, collage, tools from the hardware store, and tree branches to lay down layers of paint, creating a historical record of my efforts to create harmony, conflict, and meaning.

On Collaboration

Painting is a solitary enterprise. Artist collaboration has been described as two or more artists working on a single canvas, responding to what the previous painter has put on the canvas. According to Wikipedia, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michael Basquiat, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray were examples of conscious collaboration.

Collaboration as a cross-fertilization of intent and method has a rich track record. Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, close friends, created "combines" by separately incorporating objects in their respective pictures. Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler, and Motherwell and art critic Harold Rosenberg shaped each other's work.

Wendy and I are examples of cross-fertilization. I challenged my reliance on a neutral palette because of Wendy's devotion to intense color. An example of this is Carnival. Wendy and I alerted each other whenever our pursuit of harmony risked ending in a one-note hum rather than a complex symphony.

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