PAINTING WITH PAPER
As a collagist and painter, over the years I have rejected the typical assemblage of pulp/fiber artists' work; thus choosing to create my own papers and "paint" with them. Because of the tactile nature of this medium, working differently from many collagists, who mount colored papers and then add paint or color them, I work backwards, which liberates me and enables the painting to invite the viewer to enter a "mindscape"- to find their own space inside that world of color. Paint with paper? Integrity of the work is important to me, and as labor intensive as this technique may be, having the artist's hand literally involved in every step of the process of creation is key.
Inspiration comes from the grace of the bare limb of a tree, the color of music, lyrics from a song, a line from poetry or prose, the way the sky changes from cerulean blue to paler hues as you near the sea, sea glass found on a walk along the shore: it is color that sparks that burst of energy to explore what may come next.
Starting with ephemera and sheets of different papers: tracing paper, tissue and rice paper, watercolor papers, canvas or fabric, I use various mediums to hand color and give each sheet texture and a more sculptural plane through a variety of methods. Sometimes using incompatible materials like oil paint to hand marble papers, but then going back into that paper with pastel or even acrylic paint, the struggle of 2 or 3 clashing mediums is exciting, often unpredictable and opens a pathway to the next paper to be made. I will sometimes transfer an image of my own creation to an acrylic emulsion, either from a 35 mm slide transfer or a drawing and it becomes gossamer thin, allowing other colored layers of the collage to peek through changing the perspective and lending itself to the serendipitous nature of the medium.
Texture is achieved through various methods of rubbing, tearing versus cutting, crumbling or folding the paper, braying them so that each one has a life of its own. After layering several pieces of colored tissue, a new color and paper with new texture has evolved. Each painted, marbled or pastel colored paper, transfer or drawing is then rendered compatible and archival by bathing them in another emulsion and hung to dry on a "laundry line" of color, texture, shape, line and design. This riot of color takes on a life of its own, and upon entering my studio, the energy and excitement of the juxtaposition of these very different papers as they dry starts the creative juices flowing. I then will choose 5 or 6 hand-painted papers as my palette and begin to "paint"- cutting and tearing like brush strokes to mount on Arches or Rives paper until the completed work compels you to come inside and find solace.
Collage is a lot like life experiences: each layer has a color, texture and personality of its own, influencing the choice of the next layer, and changing the way the viewer perceives the completed work. As we grow, each of our life experiences influences the way we interpret the next turn of events, just like the layers of my collages.
These works serve to open up a dialogue between us. They are but a record of observations, reactions, inspirations- emotional landscapes which hopefully will touch a part of you, the viewer. Then they will allow you to experience your own thoughts, observations, and emotions about each collage; so that it may continue the dialogue."
Stacey Clarfield Newman
Stacey Clarfield Newman Bio:
Artist and painter, Stacey Clarfield Newman has developed a unique method of recycling ephemera to create striking hand-painted papers. She then uses them as painterly "brushstrokes of paper" to produce lyrical collages containing abstracted "mindscapes" and whimsical social commentary. Influenced by music, her love affair with color, life's events and her deep reverence for nature, the artist states "the planet Earth is a small green island- an emerald gem to be cared for and appreciated. We must protect and nurture all the living beings who inhabit it." In keeping with that philosophy and her conviction that artists have a responsibility to open a dialog with the viewer about life issues, she was commissioned to create a collage mural for the Albert Einstein Medical Outpatient AIDS Wing in 1992 entitled The Powers of Healing.
Most recently, Ms. Clarfield Newman spent two months living and working in Kolkata, India at the Udayan School, a welfare and rehabilitation school for children of leprosy patients. There she taught her techniques of “painting with paper” collage to 300 children ages 4 - 18, living with the students in the girls dormitory, crossing cultural and language barriers through art. In February of 2010, she curated and mounted an exhibit, “Art of the Heart” of the children’s work at the prestigious Chamber of Congress’ Palladian Lounge in Kolkata to rave reviews in the city’s renowned cultural media. The show was a resounding success and the proceeds of the art sales were donated for the continued welfare of Udayan School.
Ms.Clarfield Newman has exhibited widely across the United States and internationally as well, most recently showing in Chicago and in Colorado. Ms. Newman's work was also included in the juried National Association of Women Artists' annual competition "Illuminations" at the gallery 928 Broadway in Chelsea. Stacey Clarfield Newman's painting "Tree of Life" was selected as one of fewer than 75 artists for publication in ArtQuench Magazine's (AQM) Best International Creatives 2016.
In recent reviews, critics have called her work, "ethereal and painterly... the large, intricate collages lyrically evoke a surreal dreamscape, drawing the viewer into the painting," and went on to say that Stacey Clarfield Newman's hand-painted, handmade paper collage paintings "richly suggest an organic landscape of the mind." Her art is in numerous private and public collections, including the White Plains Hospital Center; Bridgepoint Capitol, Inc., Scarsdale Union Free Schools, The Aesthetic Surgery Center, Darien, CT, The Toberoff Collection and the law firms of Latham and Watkins; Berle, Kass and ,Case in New York City.
After studying at the Fidel School of Art, a private Art Enrichment School, Stacey Clarfield Newman attended Franklin and Marshall College, afterwards earning a B.S. in Management and Labor Relations. She then incorporated her art and business background to develop a successful career in New York City's television and video industry. Deciding to make a full-time commitment to painting, Newman studied at The School of Visual Arts, Purchase College at SUNY, with Roger Hendricks, and privately with the artists Richard Miller, Leo Manso, and the sculptor Caryl Stone.
Ms. Newman's collage, The Sky is the Limit, was chosen as a visual statement to represent Catalyst, Inc. a nonprofit research and advisory organization whose primary mission is to enable women to achieve their full professional potential.
Stacey Clarfield Newman is a member of the National Association of Women in the Arts, The National Association of Professional Women, The National Arts Club, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Indo-American Arts Council and is currently artist in residence at the Green Chimneys School in Brewster, NY. Stacey is a former faculty member of the private art enrichment program for children “Young At Art”, in Westchester as well as the Scarsdale Continuing Education Art Program. She is the author of the book Stacey Paints India.
Published in International Contemporary Masters IV Art Book and ArtQuench Gallery International Creatives 2016, the artist’s biography appears in Marquis Who’s Who Women in America, Who’s Who Art in America, Who’s Who of American Women, Millennium Edition, and Who’s Who in the World. She is also listed in the Art in America Annual Guide, as one of the new emerging artists to watch. In addition to the venues provided by NAWA, Ms.Clarfield Newman’s work can be viewed at Viridian Artists, Inc. in New York City, online at www.Artslant.com, and through Stacey Clarfield Newman Studios.
Her website is www.staceypaintsindia.com