Sunday, August 4, 2013

Imprint Show

June's Imprint Show at The Gallery at Avalon Island ( 39 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, Florida) featured all women artists. On June 29th the artists talked about their process. The first artist to speak was  Emilie Finney. Her work featured large sheets of drywall with words cut into it. I was sitting in the bay window and when she started talking I realized I was sort of sitting in the midst of her piece. l considered moving but I was well into the sketch at that point.

Emily likes to get to the heart of the matter. She loves reading and writing and she grew up in a bilingual household. She is concerned that literacy is on the decline. A linguist said that it is possible to learn any language if you just memorize the 250 most used words. She began to wonder what the 250 most used words are in English. Around the same time she was reading George Orwell's "1984" where the elimination of language resulted in the elimination of creativity and expression. She carved sayings from "1984" into drywall. She began to wonder, "What defines America?" Is it the Declaration of Independence? The "I have a Dream"speech? The Star Spangled Banner song? What would these look like if they were only written with 250 words? Emily discovered drywall because her uncle was using it. With a single swipe of his blade he could cleanly crack the drywall in two, she was hooked.

I sketched Lesley Silvia as she spoke about her Sherenschitten, or black paper cutouts. She considers herself a recovering photographer. She did some very experimental and creative photography but there are so many photographers which made it hard to be seen. She started with cutting paper because it is part of her European heritage. She discovered that she loved the process. Many of her pieces were based on European Folktales but they are also deeply personal. She brought along a loose leaf binder where she keeps all of her developmental thumbnail sketches and research. I looked through it after her talk and was astounded at the level of organization and how many ideas were taking form and being developed. Every step in the process was preserved. It reminded me of the notebooks that Edward Hopper kept to document his paintings. It was exciting to see her process so clearly preserved. I have so much yet to learn.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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