The What is Painting? Project: Featuring Andrea Deschambeault-Porter

What is Painting? Norbert Marszalek

I thought it would be intriguing to ask painters this simple yet complex question. This query comes with no ground rules—it’s up to each individual artist to find their own approach and direction.

This project will be an ongoing exploration … let’s see where it takes us.

What is Painting?
Featuring Andrea Deschambeault-Porter

I am glad the question is “What is Painting?” and not “What is Art?” In my own experience, painting has been the most difficult, the most demanding of the arts. Nothing makes one confront oneself so directly as does painting. I just read another WIP Project entry by a painter that said a painting can take a couple years to complete. I am glad to read that because at one point I spent the entire year on the same painting and decided that I liked that it took so long. Since then, I have been acutely aware of the necessity for time to intercede.

My artist’s statement states: My interest in painting lies in “how far in the picture” we are concerning something as context influences meaning. The problem of knowledge creates both an intimacy and objectivity with the world; I am interested in the signification that goes on in how we come to know something-the naming of things, the framing of them, and the question concerning the relation between creating and discovering a world.

Signification, as construction, obscures a discourse and hides that fact. What is the necessity behind this as a mode of being human? Or Nietzsche’s pressing question: “To what extent can truth endure incorporation?”

I have reached a point in my work where everything is on the table—every possibility can be considered. I want to let go of knowing anything. Only then does the painting take hold and begin to materialize. Painting essentially involves some combination of conscious and unconscious thought. Tarrying with the familiar is precarious business because what you know of it becomes upended. Still, I like to push up against it. If I am lucky, I find myself somewhere unexpected, losing myself along the way only to find that I am anyone at any time in this very particular place that is entirely new. This idea is something I learned about through painting, long before I came across Carl Jung—the collective unconscious with its ancestral memory and experience. Painting cultivates this experience—a kind of attentiveness, which has its own kind of knowledge, whereby forgetting and finding make way for creating and discovering. To what extent can truth endure incorporation?

Andrea Deschambeault-Porter Andrea Deschambeault-Porter, The Inheritance, 30 x 30″, oil on canvas, 2012

Andrea Deschambeault-Porter is a painter living and working in Syracuse NY. She was born in 1961 and grew up in the Catskills Mountain region of NY. She received her B.F.A. from SUNY Purchase and her M.F.A. from Syracuse University. She studied in Venice Italy for a year in 1984. She works intuitively moving between abstraction and representation of various subjects such as still life, landscape, and the figure, involving some combination of conscious and unconscious thought.

More information about Andrea Deschambeault-Porter here.

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