annie stromquist

studio #8

My works on paper explore the human condition through a poetic lens. I work with abstracted but recognizable imagery. The compositions I create often appear to be quite minimal, with empty space used as an active presence. The scale of my work, which ranges from small to mid-sized, reflects my desire to create art works whose evocative power unfolds within an intimate viewing context.

In the studio, I assemble drawing tools, inks, and various hand carved or found printing blocks, ready for use beside a blank sheet of paper. Beginning with a general plan and composition in mind, I build the image with these tools. Often, I employ working methods that react unpredictably, such as the interaction of ink with wet paper. Once I am satisfied with a basic composition, I develop it with paint, watercolor, pencil, printmaking methods and wax.

Many artists have influenced my work. Hon’ami Koetsu, a 17th century Japanese artist, used innovative printing techniques which I have studied and introduced into my own artistic vocabulary. Paul Klee, whose work came to prominence in Europe in the early 1920’s, is an influence because of his quirky compositions and his “transfer drawing” methods, which I use as well. I am pulled to the mesmerizing work of Hannelore Baron, who used cloth, ink and hand carved printing blocks to create small, emotionally charged collages. Agnes Martin, a minimalist, said that making art gave her joy and a sense of well-being. I feel the same way.

"The Mid-City Studio Tour is a special weekend for me. I love having such a wide array of visitors to my normally very quiet work place. People ask interesting questions that often prompt me to think in new ways and the interactive weekend charges me up for new work after the tour is over."

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