Andrea T. Kemp
With her still lifes, Andrea moves beyond the usual bowl and fruit, which often reference what has been painted historically. She strives to avoid romanticizing her subjects, instead digging beneath the surface to find their unique abstract essence. Having built her skills on exceptional draftsmanship, the artist is adroit at translating any three-dimensional subject to the two-dimensional plane.
Andrea T. Kemp's paintings are, indeed, visual poetry and express her avid curiosity about the world and her eagerness to pursue new ideas and techniques of self-expression. A new generation is succeeding the old maters and Andrea T. Kemp is in the vanguard of young, supremely talented artists bursting onto the American scene.
Perhaps best known for her figurative work, Kemp’s paintings of women are especially sensitive – flesh tones glow, compositions show us private moments as though the subjects have been caught unaware – they hint at a story yet to be discovered. These paintings invite the viewer in, allowing room for wonder and speculation.
When talking about her process and her subject matter, the artist reveals she does not begin with a detailed drawing. She might make a few marks on the canvas to indicate scale, but then proceeds abstractly, very loosely all over the painting, working from the very general to the more specific. It’s always a journey,” she says. “Subject matter is a big part of my work – like a poem, there are more possibilities than messages or conclusions.”
When exactly my path in life became so certain, it is hard to tell. I often find myself searching for that life altering moment that changed my life forever. The truth is, a collective of moments, experiences, and feelings changed my life. I find my paintings have taken on similar evolution as well.
My need to create has been a large part of my life for as long as I can remember. Eventually I found mimicking shape and form two dimensionally was what I found most intriguing.
Like many artists I began looking at everyday life as if it could be a painting or drawing. The more I painted the more I would see this way. I became my own teacher and then had the great fortune of finding other inspiring teachers. During my four years of high school I studied with the artist Daniel Sprick. It was a once in a life time opportunity that gave me the best foundation in painting and drawing an artist could possibly find, not to mention his hard working and disciplined nature also set a great example for me. After graduating high school I went on to study at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts for two years and then finished my degree at the University of Utah.
Where and how do I begin my career as a painter? At that time, I did what now is my life’s motto; when I am feeling stuck, I remind myself to just begin. Begin anywhere! My one and only concern was to paint paint paint! Somewhere between the beginning and the many paintings I had created, a voice emerged that was quiet but my own. My work developed into the beauty I wanted to portray.
The inspiration for my paintings come from all around me. Sometimes it can be as simple as a color, other times it can be the way two people are interacting. Whatever it might be, it is used as a building block for the piece. That is when creating an environment that will compliment, emphasize, or perhaps downplay my motive becomes so important to executing that vision. When working through a painting I have experience and tools to use that I have acquired from my past work, but never is the path completely the same. There are always unexpected obstacles that arise. Those little and big bumps give me the opportunity to truly be creative. To create the impossible and let the magic take hold.