Artist Carol Roullard amplifies and records the spellbinding patterns and iridescent colors that she’s discovered through her microscope transforming them into art that invites her viewer to inhabit brilliant and unfamiliar universes. In the statement below, Carol elaborates on her love affair with nature, as well as her discovery.
I am a photographer who was captivated when I first saw chemical crystals through the microscope. Never in my wildest dreams did I think there was this world of intense color and luminosity. The crystals grew in such unique patterns sometimes spreading smoothly in an organized fashion across the glass and other times crashing into each other forming bridges and barriers like molten rock that dries and hardens into crystallized structures.
I fell madly in love with the intensity and wonderment of what I would find next. I found abstracts; formations that looked like land and seascapes, even flowers and once a group of faces. I mixed chemicals together and later realized that I should be grateful I didn’t burn down the house or fill the room with noxious gases. Although I was reckless with excitement, that experiment nevertheless produced some of the most exciting results. —Carol Roullard
Although predetermined notions of history are difficult to reconcile with the reality of cultural pluralism, Brooke McGowen has found a strategy for painting within the Hegelian dialectic.
Right now in history painters are called upon to reconcile these two antipodes, to invent a painting that allows the paint to expand freely and still capture the object.
— Brooke McGowen
The artist argues that while the old masters restricted themselves to representing nature, they nevertheless discovered visual rhythm and strength in their technique. When Abstract Expressionist painters were free of this restriction, she sees that the medium became the subject. McGowen argues that one of the challenges facing the contemporary painter is in synthesizing the two styles. The artist realizes the painting during a creative process that takes place while a narrative unfolds.
By jumping into the unknown the painter will find new solutions to this age-old problem. He may even discover he can fly. The method chosen is the artist’s endeavor to create the perfect flying machine. This invention process is a reflection of the attempt to paint the perfect picture.
The artist reconciles the binary challenge by engaging with the physical properties of the paint and capturing familiar, identifiable narratives. McGowen taps into a force that transcends intention by carefully navigating representation and abstraction and emphasizing the natural tendency of the paint to drip and flow in her creative process. As a result, she uncovers solutions to age-old problems through coincidences that lead to some of the artist’s best work.