Beth Cunningham artist original embroidery, paintings, prints,
Unspoken Thoughts: Infidelity
Embroidery, applique, beading, buttons on cotton
Art is my life. It is my center...an integral part of my being just as breathing. Teaching is a calling, yet I'm compelled to make art...to express emotions through the act of painting, stitching, printmaking, and creating papier mache sculptures.. My life is chaotic at best. To make sense of it and to create order within, I seek an inner tranquility through my art. When I'm really focused and relaxed, my work
takes me to a quieter plane of existence.
In painting, acrylics are my choice of medium. I'm drawn to the immediacy of them...the vibrant colors, tactile qualities and the surface tension created by textures. I work deliberately, using traditional and innovative techniques, allowing the process dictate the end result. My visual imagery is inspired by nature, constantly changing and evolving, and evoking personal emotions.
The format of this work makes reference to Romanesque paintings...bright colors are very striking yet flat and may be laid down in bands; the landscape backgrounds are closer to abstract decoration than realism, yet each piece speaks of timelessness and mystery.
In the true nature of the vocation as an artist, I am curious about media and art movements. From the beginning of my art education I have been drawn to the black and white line drawings of Da Vinci and Rubens, the line etchings of Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt) and Kiki Smith, and calligraphy used in ancient text and
contemporary documents. I have sculpted 3D images in papier mache for over 30 years with my students and now I'm embarking on my own adventure with this medium. I have explored Zentangles as a tool for enhancing my studio work and became a certified teacher in 2012.
I'm excited about my return to embroidery as my medium. I've always been drawn to the tactile quality of thread, old linen and embellishment with beads and trim. The process of stitching by hand, the repetition of stitches, turning edges and selecting threads is historically linked to our past, and I get to make it new again in my contemporary vision. The "Unspoken Thoughts" series explores thoughts of women which are not necessarily voiced. The applique bug series is my life in Texas on the Pedernales River...nature, plants and animals, mapping, and observations/thoughts.