St. Mary's Projects in Studio Art:

Shannon Rafferty / SMP 2014

Recent Paintings 2013-2014

Prior to making this group of paintings, I traveled to Mount Gretna, PA . where I drew from the landscape everyday. I began to develop a mental catalogue and physical relationship to different landscapes through the act of drawing. When I transcribe and physically experience something, such as when I take notes in class, I am much more likely to recall that information later. Likewise, when I transcribe landscapes on site, I am able to later recollect atmosphere, form and color in the studio. Different landscapes become embedded in my muscle memory through the act of drawing.

Just as memory is important to me when I draw from life, recollection is also central to my studio process. The drawings and paintings that I do outside shape the paintings that I make in the studio. Instead of putting down exactly what I see, sometimes I start with a contour of a landscape or plant. Other times, a spill of paint could trigger an idea of a landscape that I have visited. Recently, I have made several trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains where I have spent time observing and drawing the landscape. The subtle color and hazy atmosphere of the mountains captivated me. In the studio, I have infused those elements of the mountains into my large-scale works on canvas and paper by paring down my color palette and exploring ways of masking forms. Through these techniques, I am able to allude to the elusive horizon of the Blue Ridge. My past experiences of the landscape combine with my physical relationship to the painting process in order to create echoes of places that I have been.