For Mindy Vernon, experiences while studying at The Marchutz School of Fine Arts in Aix-en-Provence, France, in 1993 inspired a paradigm shift in her painting style, from representational to abstraction. “We’d be taken to spots where Cézanne and van Gogh had painted, and get dropped in a field of sunflowers to paint plein air,” she says. “Everything turned around. My work became free and spontaneous. I became the painter I wanted to be.”
Since then, personal expression has evolved exponentially through continuous exploration of motion, color and light, as well as representations of the Western environment and her personal family history. When she secured a studio at the Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen a couple of years ago, it increased the opportunity to produce even more meaningful, evocative work. While the French aesthetic is obvious, her works straddle a more
With a view of Red Mountain out her studio windows upping inspiration, Vernon’s painting process is one of both “spontaneity and correction,” she says. Working from small sketches, or what she calls “studies,” to create large works, she plays with the balance of color and design, continually layering and “pulling away,” using oil, charcoal, graphite and collage. The result? “People tell me my paintings are happy and make them feel joy,” she says. “The emotion behind them comes through.”
In addition to regular exhibits, including shows at the Red Brick, the Aspen Art Museum (in its former location) and The Art Base in Basalt, Vernon also works on commission, and a gallery affiliation is in the offing.
Aspen’s Chabad Jewish Community Center will host Precious Legacy, a one-woman showing of her work, opening Dec. 18. The show will feature more than 15 new paintings, including a series inspired by her Jewish heritage and a recent workshop at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. “The Chabad, where I’m affiliated, is so involved with both Israel and local community efforts,” she says. “Having the opportunity to show my work in that beautiful building is a natural connection.” Opening reception 5pm, 435 W. Main St., artvernon.com
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