Deirdre Schanen:

I grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan in Port Washington, WI. This early influence informs much of my work.  My paintings are about the color, silence, and space of the early morning hours on Lake Michigan.  They explore the tension of the lake’s serene vastness with the complex confusion of the rocks and detritus washed up on its shores.  Everywhere I look, I see abstractions, as if I am on a mountaintop looking down.  My work often involves the variegated forms, shapes, and lines in the vista below.  It reflects the geometry of this abstracted landscape of my mind.

The artist, Richard Diebenkorn, particularly his Ocean Park series, has influenced my work.  I fracture my landscape portraits into a combination of geometric shapes, stuttering lines and translucent colors.  I often achieve this by covering markings with thin translucent layers of paint.  I rarely know how my canvases will end because they are not planned but develop while I work on them. I begin with pencil or ink markings and paint drips.  I continue to add layer after layer of glaze, paint, and markings. The under painting is as important to me as the final layer of paint.  For me, making art involves this process of adding and subtracting, covering and uncovering in a dance with the canvas.  When the dance is over, I am often surprised with the result, while knowing that it is what was meant to be.