Olivia Pendergast

The paintings that I create are a direct reflection of the experience I am having. I simply see something that creates movement, stirs something that feels like California Poppy orange or a particular note in a song that brings forth tears of recognition. A giddiness rises in the chest and a “yes” that is curious about a mother holding her child to her chest, or the way light comes through a blackberry bramble.

By being present I am aware of hundreds of times a day when this movement occurs and as a way to express the excitement, I am moved to paint.

If someone gleans something from that it is of their own accord, through their own precious movement.

There is a feeling that arises when I see line being used in art. It seems to try to define what cannot be defined, what could never be truly known. The same thing seems to happen when negative space is used to try to define something in a painting. What is it that I think I want to know? Form? Weight? Size? How much definition do I need? Or is it the “attempt” to define something, that really creates all the hubbub that makes me sit and stare at a Robert Motherwell, perched on the edge of tears, for 45 minutes?

There is not any attempt to charade the work that I create. It is a process, an unfolding that I cannot even understand or take credit for. The gesso goes down, then the under-painting, then the line through pencil and scratches, and then the painting. This is how it works, how it is created and there is nothing to glaze over and create the illusion that I “know” what I am doing.
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First Collected by

Bonnie Haines Church


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