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  FINE ART:  Painting
  Judy Seidel
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I seem to have a curious relationship with rectangles. For a number of years I shot and printed black and white photography. Then I struggled to move away from the fixed 90-degree corners of the rectangles by brushing emulsion on photographic paper in various shapes, then printing on that. I was beginning to get some interesting effects, but the stronger chemicals required by that process made me ill. I moved on.

Now I find that, whatever concept I am working with in a painting, I often express it using rectangles. Where does this come from?

I grew up in the Midwest on a farm. The farm was made up of a patchwork of fields and pastures, intersected by roads. Rectangles. My great aunts and grandmothers made quilts. Rectangles. So my childhood experience is clearly one source.

I experienced a great sense of space as a child: walking through a pasture to bring the milk cows into the barn to be milked; looking up at the vast sky from a gully discovering shapes in the clouds; seeing a horizon very far away – the land was flat – and understanding how people could have once thought the Earth was flat. This experience of vastness gave me a great sense of dimension, depth and mystery.

A more metaphysical exploration takes me to Kandinsky, often considered to be one of the early abstract painters. But he was also a theosophist and in tune with the psychic realm. What he painted was a “different reality”, his vision of another world.

Rectangles represent for me planes of existence within our vast universe, a way of depicting the spatial sense, the multi-dimensional sense that I experienced as a child. I integrate external stimuli and inspirations with my concept of the universe and the process of painting evolves from there. Rectangles are one of the strongest forms of expressing this – my “different reality”.

My work incorporates acrylic paint and mixed media on hot-pressed watercolor paper and on canvas.

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