mixed media on cradled wood panel
55” x 47”
As with many artists, Joyce Kwasnik found a natural desire to make art since childhood. Forgoing a formal art education in order to apprentice in advertising design, she committed her early career to graphic arts. While exploring painting in her spare time she also attended classes at Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. Upon leaving the Detroit area to live in northern Michigan, she began to devote more time to her painting and exhibited her paintings in Petoskey, Michigan, eventually moving to Columbus.
Joyce Kwasnik’s desire to continue painting has been fueled by the endless inspiration in nature and personal satisfaction in the creative process. With watercolor acrylic on paper and silk being her preferred medium, she has also worked in encaustic wax, photography and more recently mixed media collage. Her paintings and commissioned work are represented in private collections throughout the Midwest.
When the exhibit title “Remnants” first came up, I couldn’t help but think of childhood visits to the fabric store with my mother, a talented and undaunted seamstress. She always took time to look over the remnant table to see if something caught her eye, something that remained in which she saw possibility.
I knew I had “remnants” in my studio and when I began work on this piece, my process mirrored hers. Looking over what was available, I started assessing pattern, scale, texture, size, color, and what caught my eye. After taking a dark toned painting and cutting it into wavy strips and arranging them, they began to resemble branches – a familiar view when I look at the trees out of my back window. Reflecting on what I’ve observed when light is shifting and when days and seasons pass through the sky behind those trees, my composition started to take shape.
Deciding how to fill the area between the branches led to choosing to cut tiles from other paintings. Much of my work has the feeling of movement and flow and I was pleasantly surprised to see that element of fluidity even in the hard angles and lines of the trapezoid shaped tiles. It was important not to overwhelm the branches by choosing the right scale for the tiles, thus many details in planning that stretched my mathematic abilities would follow. While I worked, I also gained respect and appreciation for artists who work in detailed and intricate ways.
One of the effects of being an artist is the need and desire to explore, experiment, try, try again – while always working toward that same feeling of satisfaction and delight when something good is accomplished. As a compilation of selected paintings, “Growing” illustrates a new pleasure I found in renewing and building upon the purpose of previous works – allowing them to become something else, if I was willing. It challenged me with its complexity and time requirements, yet also led me to think about new possibilities. Just as nature regenerates – so can art.