Liv Valmestad's "Flying By" (Liv Valmestad)
I wanted to capture the energy and draw the viewer's eye to the top and create the feeling of flying off the paper.
—Liv Valmestad, artist
As both an art historian and an artist, Liv Valmestad brings an
analytical approach to her art practice, beginning each body of work
with a historical concept and then allowing the process of painting to
determine its evolution and outcome.
This time she explores stemning, (Norwegian for mood or ambience) to create works of enduring stillness and others that are more transient, capturing a fleeting moment in time.
SCENE asked Valmestad to tell us more about this flowing work:
I had done several waterscapes and became interested in the swirling shapes that the water itself was forming. They reminded me of islands of water within water and then I thought about the Thousand Islands outside Kingston, which I had visited many times while living there.
I explored this in a couple of smaller sketches, with the islands eventually becoming outlines and the horizon line more abbreviated. Its placement became higher and higher because compositionally I wanted to create a tension between flattening the picture plane and a bird's eye view perspective.
Flying By is a larger work-up of one the sketches and here I wanted to capture the energy and draw the viewer's eye to the top and create the feeling of flying off the paper. To achieve this, the islands are defined by electrifying neon-like lights, surging upwards and directed by the paint, applied in fast dashes, rushing to the top. While working on this I also thought of Google Earth (which I work with) and wanted to capture a similar feeling of flight. Now the ephemeral landscape is rushing by, just as our busy lives -- and as a working mother of two I am always flying ...
Liv Valmestad is the Art Librarian at the Architecture/Fine Arts Library, University of Manitoba.
Her exhibit, Stemningsmaleri, opens at the Dr. Paul H.T. Thorlakson Gallery, Iceland Reading Room, University of Manitoba on January 31.