For years I have been intrigued by subject challenges such as faces devoid of race or gender, caricatures, silhouettes, movement, color, blending techniques, etc. Recently, however, something has radically changed.
I saw the Eclipse of 2017 in totality, and it was then that something in me shifted, and my art shifted too. It was surreal watching the sun completely disappear behind the moon, I remember laughing and clapping and holding back tears. The earth around me was dark at 1:21 in the afternoon in the tiny town of Makanda, Illinois, a place I called home for many years. The bursts of bright light pointing out like lasers behind the blackened moon was like watching a show staged in another world. The clouds passing by looked like angels, and they connected that world to ours. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
Since the eclipse, I feel a need to create more powerful and intense art. I completely shifted mediums, from translucent gouache paints corralled in silhouettes on 11” x 14” watercolor paper, to thick, unbounded acrylics on large canvas. My background in watercolor and gouache naturally lead me to explore more fluid techniques with acrylics. Always exploring and experimenting with new ideas, I combine old and new techniques with interesting subjects, resulting in somewhat abstract portrayals of nature, with a special emphasis on activity in the skies, including the sun and moon, the colors, the flow of air just above the horizon. I create my art now for the sake of realizing it, not necessarily as a gift to individual people in my life, and so it is free to find its rightful owner.
The air becomes itself, gaining and losing strength, freezing, blazing, blowing pretty-as-you-please in a warm summer breeze, or twisting into a tornado as one particle flows into the other, and another, anew at every interval. This is evolution. This is me. This is my art.
Welcome to my world.
~ Leann Schmidt
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