Statement regarding abstract landscapes:
Alicia Armstrong's new body of work represents an adventurous departure from her previous series. Her new paintings, through a creative manipulation of materials and rare sensitivity to color and tone, are simultaneously abstract and boldly representational. What at first glance may appear to be washes of color that conclude with expressive, tactile features that end in drippings or dramatic concentrations of color, become suggestive of landscape, dramatic horizon lines, the interior of a rock formation, or even outer space. The application of materials she later removes to create hard lines also forms transparent layers, which lead viewers to wonder where these mysterious, but defined paths lead. Figures have often featured prominently in her work, but again, this series defies that pattern. Instead, viewers are left with more questions than answers, about the future, about destinations, and about what they are seeing. Organic tones of green, blue, and a warm red imbue these works, and contribute to the feeling that these scenes continue outside of each canvas’ confines.
Statement regarding figurative work:
Alicia’s new work is reminiscent of her early childhood years which were spent with her mother who used wallpaper as a primary design element throughout their home. As an antique dealer, her mother refinished, sanded and painted furniture in hopes of reclaiming the history of each piece.
Having these memories in her childhood gave her a propensity to recreate these aesthetics in her work by creating personal images within a textured vintage floral pattern while simultaneously personalizing the process.
This series is primarily created on wood panels where she builds up layers, creating history, then sanding back to reveal specific parts and pieces. The floral patterns are ideal because they’re organic and flow freely in and out of the background.
These figures move through the space representing this sort of 'half here' state of being mothers experience while moving through life. As a mother, Alicia relates to the inner conflict between the demands of family and the longing to find a sense of self.
These particular pieces are more vibrant in color accessing the joy in tiny moments caught in time, moving into spring and summer.
Alicia Armstrong currently lives and works in Asheville, North Carolina.
She began taking art classes in middle school in painting, printmaking and ceramics. Eventually she made her way to University of North Carolina, Asheville where she received her BFA. Two pieces from her exhibition were purchased by the University for their permanent collection.
Alicia paints primarily on wood panels using graphite, oil, and charcoal; her process produces highly textural works, whose layers convey the beauty and struggle of movement and transition, capturing moments.
When she's not in the studio, you can find her on the tennis court, yoga mat or in the kitchen whipping up her favorite curry for her two teenage boys.