“I am continually fascinated with the way that memories and impressions often rise -- sometime without any intention at all -- to the surface of the painting process.” - Debra Guess
The abstract is open to interpretation. Although the concentration on surface, texture, and movement at the expense of the representational is executed with deliberate intention, the viewer’s ability to forge emotional relationships is always the final ingredient in the recipe.
Debra Guess has BA in Communications, so perhaps we should not be at all surprised that she places such importance on that dynamic in her paintings. But what exactly they will communicate is sometimes a mystery until she has completed the painting. The academic issues of composition lead her to a point of discovery in each new piece:
“I use acrylic paint on canvas to explore unplanned harmonies of color and form – much like those in nature that lie just under the surface of our awareness. Pigments and markings and spontaneity dictate, evolving into a combination of the organic and the imaginary, where shapes, strokes, and color come together to reveal a sense of time and place both familiar and open to interpretation. I paint with a deep appreciation for the value of spontaneity in abstract art and in individual paint strokes themselves -- of how intuition and accidents alike can embody the true and important qualities of beauty.”
Guess made a career for more than 30 years in marketing, sales and desk-bound jobs. Painting was originally a creative calling outside the confines of the 8-to-5 routine that called upon her Minor in Art, but her return was a self directed experience, although she found particular inspiration in, “… the intuitive, expressionist work” of Krista Harris, Rick Stevens and Jonas Gerard.
Now retired, she paints full-time in her home studio in rural Shelby County, Kentucky, where she is, ”… surrounded by one of my primary inspirations: the random beauty of the countryside. Equally inspiring are travel experiences in the US and abroad. I am continually fascinated with the way that memories and impressions often rise -- sometime without any intention at all -- to the surface of the painting process.”
Most recently Guess exhibited at Periwinkle Studio & Gallery in Frankfort, Kentucky, in the juried SALI National Abstract Art Exhibition XIV in Indianapolis, Indiana, and in a corporate installment at CTM Financial Services in Frankfort, Kentucky. She is also a gallery artist at Greenwich House Gallery in Cincinnati, Oh.
3 Square Art "New Horizons: Landscapes" Juried Exhibit, 2018
Greenwich House Gallery "Vistas", 2018
Grand Gallery at The Grand Theatre, Solo Exhibit, 2018
Dogwood Art & Gifts II at Wakefield-Scearce Gallery, 2018
Hometown: Frankfort, Kentucky
Education: BA in Communications (emphasis in Public Relations), Minor in Art, University of Kentucky
Gallery Representation: Greenwich House Gallery (Cincinnati), Periwinkle Studio & Gallery (Frankfort).
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.