Creating visual poems
This story was featured in the July 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Last year while driving from Tomales Bay south to Carmel, CA, Jennifer Moses was suddenly captivated by a scene that transpired before her eyes. “I found myself attracted to an odd yet compelling gesture of the clouds in conjunction with their traveling companion, the moon,” Moses says. “Together they seemed to be creating a story of tranquil, playful levity.” Moses pulled off the road, sketched the playful cloudscape, and later finished the piece in her studio in Ojai, CA. In March the painting, titled BLUSHING TWILIGHT, won the Edgar Payne Award for best landscape at the California Art Club’s annual Gold Medal Exhibition and Sale. The work is a quintessential example of Moses’ loose, painterly style, which she describes as “symbolic abstraction.” It’s a style, she says, that increasingly features highly textured, almost sculptural surfaces. In fact, she often describes her art-making process as “sculpting with paint.”
The Southern California-based artist received her bachelor of fine arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and also has taken classes from artists such as David Gallup and Dan Pinkham, whom she feels share a common creative voice with her. Moses admits that she has a special affinity for the landscape as subject matter. “There is a solitude that occurs when I am on the road,” Moses says. “Extended painting trips allow me concentrated time in the field to collect material and inspiration for studio work. When I am away, I often spend time hiking and exploring. This allows for unexpected inspiration—whether it comes in the form of a plein-air study or conceptual notes for later contemplation in the studio.”
A sense of place remains at the core of her landscape work, whether she is depicting the sea or the sky. Moses is most often drawn to the intimate aspects
of a scene. “It’s a moment in time or a specific feeling that unfolds when I’m connected with my surroundings,” she says. “The process for me is a celebration of beauty and the interrelatedness of all things. My greatest desire is to communicate that connection through the visual poetry of paintings.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Primavera Gallery, Ojai, CA.
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