Joyce Shupe

Region: West

Here and there in art school I was afforded the opportunity to work with wood--carving it as in creating and sculpting tools or cutting into it as in woodcuts. I found it soothing somehow and meditative. I began to understand woodcarvers and people that whittled. That fondness for carving eventually insinuated itself into my art.

Using additives such as wax and marble dust, I am able to alter the paints' properties in ways that when almost dry, become "carvable." Using a variety of tools, I cut, carve or scrape my way through multiple layers of paint creating a low relief language of parallel lines, each occupying its own spatial arena.

The character of the lines is determined not so much by my intention but more by the effects of he "variables" involved in the process--the brand of paint, color, length of drying time. These things affect the malleability of the paint determining just "how" I can or cannot carve, which tools I can or cannot use. The paints manipulation ultimately provides the narrative supporting a long held belief that painting is really about paint, the medium itself.

My heroes: Agnes Martin, Paul Klee, Sean Scully.