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ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 | artisspectrum.com
I
n her highly expressionistic paintings, artist
Wendy Cohen
seeks above all to capture the joy and passion that can be
found in the world. Working with a variety of mixed media,
Cohen layers her canvases with diverse palettes of rich color
thickly applied with fearless brushstrokes. Compositions are
both fantastical and adventurous, combining recognizable
elements with robust patterns and abstract renderings. What
results is artwork bursting with energy and infused with
freedom and positivity, which she believes is the natural state
of all people.
Inspired both by a rich African culture as well as by modern
artists such as Picasso, Miro, de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock,
Cohen sees herself mostly as a citizen of the world, connected
to all life on the planet. Her paintings have a primitive,
surrealistic quality to them and often contain glimpses of
faces, which she uses as a sculptural tool to “symbolize the
face of the illusion of life.”
To Cohen, being a painter is more of a divine calling than
anything else. Through each of her works, she seeks “to bring
fantasy, excitement, love, laughter, and imagination” to her
audience.
Wendy Cohen currently lives and works in Sydney, Australia.
Garden of Serendipity Mixed Media on Canvas 40” x 40”
Wendy Cohen
Jacques Descoteaux
Painting is my emotional response to my environment,”
says
Jacques Descoteaux
. His paintings, done in oils
on canvas, are compelling views of that environment
— Canada’s stark landscapes and massive skies. “I
am interested in exploring color and space,” he says,
“suggesting both the tension and harmony that exist
in nature.” The vistas in Descoteaux’s images offer him
many opportunities to carry out those explorations.
Whether they are moody and dark, or airy expanses of
sun-lit clouds, his skies play dark and light shades off
of each other to give each painting a strong physical
presence and a quiet sense of movement. But the artist’s
aims go beyond realism. His goal is to capture “the
atmospherics rather than the specifics of a scene.”
Descoteaux first painted in watercolors, and that
medium has left its mark on his oil paintings. Applying
paint in thin layers, he achieves a delicacy that is perfect
for embodying air and space. When that lightness combines with the rich tones that oil paint offers, a unique combination
is formed, creating a world that is at once familiar and mysterious. “I like to lead the viewer,” the artist says, “but I also need
to let them find their own story through my paintings.”
Black and White Series 5 Oil on Canvas 24” x 30”
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