She begins with chaos.
Her mind aswirl with images and experiences, she's likely to start painting with the large canvas on the floor. She may continue with it stretched and on the wall.
Colleen McCubbin Stepanic's stream-of-conscious work is at the Hudson Gallery in Sylvania through April 30, with a reception tonight from 7 to 9. Most of these six-by-six-foot canvases are collections of fragments and have an inexplicably buoyant feel.
"They tell a lot of stories. They're wonderful, engaging paintings," says Scott Hudson, co-owner of the gallery. The prolific Bowling Green artist is a skilled draftsperson, he says. "She has exquisite lines."
It's the first time the Hudsons have hosted a local artist in a solo show since opening the gallery in 2003.
Here, Stepanic, 34, works with Golden fluid acrylics, which are "runny" and create intense colors; some have a glittery sheen. Marks, colors, images, and abstractions, compete.
"They're very process oriented," says Stepanic, a drawing instructor at Bowling Green State University. "I was very interested in the residue of the process. With these acrylics, everything is transparent. You can still see through six other layers of paint, so you create sort of a document. A history or pattern builds."
And much is left to the imagination. In SG3, the figures of children loll around; legs and arms fold every which way, sharing a relaxed physicality lost to adults. Models were Stepanic's daughter, Olivia, and her cousins. It's colorful, but a few figures are simply outlined in gray.
Bamenda I celebrates the colorful hats of several Cameroonian men who face smoky smudges, patterns, and negative space.
A few pieces have raw edges. Several are collages with cut-out canvas paintings affixed.
Large works sell for $3,000. A few smaller expressionistic works on paper that seem floral-inspired are $400. Thin washes of ink and paint bleed and stain in browns, rusts, blacks, and grays.
The dimension of these paintings shouldn't give people with modest-sized homes pause, says Barbara Hudson. "I think people need to think outside of 'over the sofa' We don't hesitate to hang them near the floor."
A reception from 7 to 9 tonight opens Colleen McCubbin Stepanic's show at Hudson Gallery, 5577 Monroe St. in Sylvania. The gallery is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and to 8 p.m. on Thursday. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information: 419-885-8381 or www.hudsongallery.net.
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