Ilona Kennedy

Ilona Kennedy

Juxtaposition of Curvilinear and Geometric Forms

Ilona Kennedy

Background

I have been involved in art-making for over 40 years now, and during that time focused primarily on realistic imagery through photography, printmaking (photo- etching), clay sculpture, and mostly figurative oil painting. However, in collecting art myself, I found I was strongly attracted to abstract and non-objective artworks. Where does the modern artist’s inspiration and imagination come from? Could I do it? How to begin? When I tried and looked at a white canvas or panel board, (which are expensive so you don’t want to screw up) I just froze. An irrational fear welled up in me!

 

I spoke to a couple of artist friends about this serious block and with their help came up with a way to overcome my fear. 1. Work on a less expensive support first, as there are papers that can be used with all mediums nowadays, and then adhere the “successes” to more durable surfaces like panel boards, if deemed worthy. 2. Start making collages first with random bits cut out of magazines. Overlay stencils for complexity if I so desired. Focus on the same strong elements of design used in realistic works: color, shape, line, edges, and facilitating movement of the eye, through dominance, repetition. Most importantly, a proper proportion of values is the key to success, no matter the medium or the genre. So I refocused on doing this, and voila, barrier crossed!

 

These solutions have helped me in other ways as well. As a new grandmother to 3 grand-daughters in the Covid era, from Maine to Colorado, I have to be mobile. Working on paper is the solution! As well, several trips abroad have provided me with enough of my own photographic material with which to collage. Since early days I have always been drawn to textures and surfaces of walls, pathways, and objects, as well as the juxtaposition of curvilinear and geometric forms.

 

In recent years, I have explored encaustics, and incorporated many bits of the photographs I have taken into this rich textural medium. And now I am exploring cold wax and oils, a more portable medium, and pushing myself to first play with gestural mark-making, and then compose pieces using my imagination, rather than solely realistic extrapolations. It has been a totally foreign process for me and one I surprisingly delight in!

As far as the meaning of my multi-media works, I leave their interpretation up to the viewer.

Ilona Kennedy

West Orange, NJ

United States

 

3 Square Art Studio Artist

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