Catching Up With: Alison Cooley – Sugarlift

Catching Up With: Alison Cooley

Posted by Bartlomiej Piela /

alison cooley abstract painter washington dc maryland pink painting

Alison Cooley is a mark maker. Her canvases are filled with them, marks working together to tell stories of "interactions and entanglements". Her recent work explores the many connections between gestures and memory. We were lucky enough this week to catch up with Alison and to learn more about her practice and influences.

Interested in collecting Alison's work? Click here to learn how.

LIVES & WORKS IN  Easton, Maryland

OCCUPATION  Artist

ON THE CLOCK  Up early in the morning with my boys, a long walk outside, then studio time until the world wants me back.

YOUR ART WEEKEND Preparing canvas, finding space to work, traveling to a show.

ALBUM Afternoon by Eleni Mandell

FILM  Doctor Zhivago

ARTIST  Cy Twombly

alison cooley abstract painter washington dc maryland pink painting

BOOK "Die a Little" by Megan Abbott

EATS  Coffee

LATEST PURCHASE  A steel factory window frame

GUILTY PLEASURE  Holiday music

GRADE IN ART CLASS  A

36 HOURS   East coast of Scotland, old castle, hike under huge wet skies, roaring fire, dinner and great wine with friends.

alison cooley abstract painter washington dc maryland pink painting

You mentioned that your paintings are inspired from human interaction and memory -- how have you developed your visual language to capture these ideas?

I've always explored atmosphere in relation to memory and connection. Right now I'm interested in handwriting as a visual marker. We write by hand less and less, yet I can instantly tell who left a note, visualize my grandmother’s writing on an envelope, or imitate a friend from high school’s scrawl. Penmanship, for lack of a better word, may be unconscious to the writer and immediately recognizable to the reader. Strokes and lines in my work pull from and exaggerate the idea of involuntary personal markings. I use different pens, pencils, pressure, and touch to express interactions and entanglements.

alison cooley abstract painter washington dc maryland pink painting

Can you talk about some of the main influences on your work, whether historical or contemporary?

I was very interested in the Bay Area Figurative painters early on, especially Diebenkorn, Bischoff, and then Oliveira. “Marking” artists continually capture my heart and I always return to Twombly who was not afraid of gestures laid bare. Jenny Saville reveals the human form with savagery and the most delicate palette.

alison cooley abstract painter washington dc maryland pink painting

How about your process? Can you tell us about how your work goes from idea to fully executed?

Continuity is a big theme for me -- I'd love to be able to enter the studio and work in a beautiful, uninterrupted stretch until a piece is complete -- but life happens. I rely on music, and sometimes literature, to keep me engaged with the mood of my work even when I'm not in the studio. I consciously create a “sensory soundtrack.” Playlists evolve, stories crest and fall, and seasons slowly change as a series of paintings comes to completion.

 


< Previous Post Next Post >


Post a comment


Submitting your info