Whitney Allen Johnston Bell

Whitney's work contrasts organic shapes with symmetrical patterning. She considers her paintings non-objective because most of the imagery is non-representational; however, organic forms reminiscent of the natural world do emerge. She occasionally sneaks in something recognizable like a portrait or inanimate object. Whenever sections of her painting feel disconnected, she lets washes drip through wet paint, pulling pigment across her canvas to literally connect segments. She rarely washes her brushes well so that parts of a previous hue are always mixed in with the next. She finds this helps her limit her color palette and keeps tones muted as well. She juxtaposes earth tones with synthetically colorful pops of paint. "When working, I try to dive into a subconscious state, trusting muscle memory and painting as intuitively as possible. I typically paint many layers of intertwining patterns, creating a strata like composition. I don’t like my work until I’ve painted over it multiple times."

The ability to dislike and later fall in love with something based on its layers is remarkable. She supposes human beings can be like this too- more beautiful with the layers they expose. Perhaps her art is asking the question, “is there a pattern to this madness?”

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