Cathleen Cohen – Statement

bio / statement / work )

I spend most days writing poems with students, so it is wonderful to pick up a paintbrush at the end of the day and explore nonverbally. Of course, painting and poetry seem quite connected! Mark making, color and mass convey relationships, as do word choices. Shifts in coolness or warmth evoke emotions, similar to the rhythms and pacing of a poem. Shapes and lines can scaffold a composition, as do poetic forms. I was trained in the figurative tradition, but soon became attracted to a less representational way of painting. The natural world is a reference point, as well as people and objects. I like working with aqueous media, mostly watercolors, since exploring the space on a page seems just as important as making marks and laying down washes of color. Painting, like writing poetry, is a reflective and fascinating process.

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