March Artist: M. Kay Elmore
I love to travel, and whenever I do, I have a little digital camera with me to capture the candid moments of human gesture and interaction, which I might later incorporate into paintings. The source imagery for the “Texting” portion of this series comes from my own adventures abroad, as well as from my traveling family and friends who are “on assignment” to find suitable subjects and post them on Facebook for me.
I chose the “Texting” theme because of my interest in classical “history painting.” My college degree in cultural anthropology probably plays a role too. In my studies, I developed an admiration of Eugene Delacroix–one of the greatest history painters of all time. (Or perhaps just my favorite!) No matter that photography did not exist during this era, you get the full scope of emotional fervor directed at the issues of his time by looking at his masterful works. He has often caused me to wonder–if I were a history painter, what would be my subject matter? I am not interested in depicting the bellicose rancor in the politics of our own time, or the pollution that’s contributing to mass extinctions, or any of the myriad social issues that bedevil us today.
No, I am Pollyanna, and prefer to look at things in a more cheerful context. So this series entitled “Texting” concerns itself with the contemporary phenomenon of social media, and I choose to look at it from the point of view of how it is bringing us together in an unprecedented experience of unity, which only the open flow of information can foster. We are talking to each other all over the world in an era that can no longer support firm boundaries, harsh ideologies, or unfair advantages to a few, if it means seeing and hearing of others’ suffering. The abundance of communication today is ushering in a friendlier, more humane tomorrow. That is the history I choose to believe we are creating today. And we’re texting it to each other, one selfie at a time.
© 2013, M. Kay Elmore
M. Kay Elmore has been painting in oils for seven years, taking workshops to fill in for her lack of formal art training. One might think that her 30-year-career as a graphic designer helped her to progress as an artist but, surprisingly, there is very little in that field that applies to painting. Always involved in artistic pursuits, she has created low-fire ceramics, kiln-cast glass, photography, nuno-felting and silk screen works. When she moved to Oregon and could not find a pottery studio to work in, she turned her focus to oil painting . . . and has fallen wholeheartedly in love with the medium. It is currently her exclusive means of creative expression.
For more information, visit pdxpainter.blogspot.com