In an age where contemporary art often leans toward the technological, the paintings of Emily Church serve as a refreshing reminder of how much can be done with a medium thats as old as time.
Though her shelves are full of homemade sketchbooks and old canvases are hidden throughout her studio show that she's been artist since day one, her work as of late has taken a new path.
"I am an abstract painter but it's based in the real. For a long time I felt like I avoided the figure but it's coming back. For a long time I tried not to depict children and life but I can't avoid it because that's me. I can bring back the narrative, even if it's personal and vague."
This sentiment of change is reflected in her current projects, pulling in the figure in a way that immediately feels personal as it focuses on abstracted elements of the body and her surrounding environment.
Despite this change, each painting starts in the same way; a canvas is coated in gesso homemade by Emily herself with a combination of rabbit skin glue and pigment chalk. After many layers of this gesso coating has dried, she gets to work on her canvas. Though sketching is very important to her as a way of recording ideas and inspiration, Emily says she rarely sketches what she is planning to do before she paints - they remain mostly separate though it is something she is working to incorporate in her upcoming works.
Currently Emily is working on two new painting series entitled Meanwhile, This is Daily Life and Excavations of an Urban Body. The first pulls in the everyday experiences that she was once trying to avoid:
"I have two daughters. It's got me thinking what is beauty and what is femininity, which I think may be the reason for pink and pale yellow in the paintings."The latter is represented through smaller pieces that deal with the intersection of her and the urban environment she lives in, taking her own thoughts and subconscious understandings to canvas.
Emily also has ideas for all those old sketchbooks she has kept.
"This is my life in sketches basically. I would love to go through them and find a thread of related things that have interested me over the years and create a book. I've always had an interest in artist's sketchbooks, that's the part you never really get to see."
(left to right): Another Spring Painting, Lick, Orca At The Brink, On Vis The Sea Came For Us. 2016, Oil on linen, 11 x 8” each
I Kiss the Top of Your Head, 2016, oil on linen, 18 x 28” (diptych)
Wake Me Before It’s Over (part 2), 2016, oil on linen, 20 x 48” (diptych)
Beyond the Neon Glitz (Fist in Mouth), 2016, oil on linen, 48 x 54”
With so many fresh ideas brewing, make sure to keep tabs on Emily and all her of work here: Emily Church.
Email us if interested in these new works: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ciao for now,
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