Joyce McAdams

Mixed Media

I want my work to be like a good poem. I t should be something a visitor can return to repeatedly, finding fresh ideas & meanings each time.  The way I work is by layering images over images until surprising new meanings begin to surface, meanings that are suggestions to the viewer’s own psyche, a magical place where the work and the viewer engage.

After 30 years of collage & painting, I now combine these techniques and make extensive use of the digital capabilities now available.  With digital imaging I can modify/recolor/resize my own library of imagery to meet my vision.  I use these elements to create the “bones” or structure of the painting.  Then I extensively paint, repaint, and recolor the work to create a unified plastic surface, as does the “traditional” painter.  I combine whatever materials or techniques that will further my vision including but not limited to air brush, digital image manipulation, gold leaf, fabric imagery and my own hand drawn/painted images.  I usually begin with an airbrushed wood panel because I like the way the grain of the wood shows through the color.  I then begin to layer my images to develop the underlying structure of the work.  As I proceed, I try to avoid preconceiving the end result of the work, I let the work “talk” to me and let it suggest what it needs in the way the Abstract Expressionists or the Asian Sumi painters would do.  At this point I treat the surface as a traditional painting; recoloring elements, adjusting colors and tonalities, and adding painted elements until I reach a unified plastic surface in which design, surface and vision become inseparable.  In the end the viewer should not be able to focus on technique but on suggested meanings imbedded in the work.

I feel the body of work I am now producing I have been able to internalize what I have learned about controlling the surface from the likes of Cezanne, Matisse, DeKooning, and Albers, and about design and pattern from Japanese artists particularly the fabric, kimono and garden designers.