ARTisSpectrum Vol. 31, May 2014 - page 10

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ARTisSpectrum | Volume 31 | artisspectrum.com
C
harles Conrardy
describes his mixed media work in four words: color, design, line, and
texture. Conrardy paints purely nonrepresentational, abstract works that are carefully
scrubbed of any allusion to or echo of real world images. The resulting works become all about
the balance of visual elements – palette, spatial areas, tone, directionality – and atmospherics.
When the subject is gone, a mood still remains, or at least it does in Conrardy’s capable and
evocative hands.
Perhaps the most solid of Conrardy’s four elements is color, which is stretched and tempered to
reach heights of subtlety. The hues are rarely saturated or even bright, and instead interweave
with each other as translucent layers. The artist treats them sparingly, often choosing just one
or two from which to build an entire palette of tones. The color fields then dodge and dance
around each other softly, as if moving in front of the viewer’s eyes. Space is constructed; lights
and darks emerge. The color acts as the foundation of each work.
Conrardy then inscribes line and texture on top of this carefully constructed base. He employs
a wide array of mark-making methods. Painted lines are daubed on or glide smoothly into
more wet paint – streaks, feathered dashes, and slick shapes are all possible. Sometimes many tiny, aggressive lines are
scratched right into the pigment itself. It’s tempting to say that textures are born organically out of this creative drawing
process, as brushstrokes accumulate and Conrardy scores the same bit of paint over and over. But the truth is that the two
are symbiotic. Line comes from texture and texture from line in these ever-evolving works.
Charles Conrardy
Frisco Ash Mixed Media on Canvas 40” x 30”
Hard Narration Mixed Media on Canvas 48” x 36”
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