Sherrie Lovler

My art is about making fluid lines on paper. The gestures of calligraphy come into play here: the movement of my arm, the sweeping mark of a flourish. The flow of ink, the place where liquid black meets water, laying down watercolor washes and areas of color, using blank space as an integral part of design — this is exciting to me.

Calligraphy has been the greatest influence on my work. My formal training is in western calligraphy, where broad-nib pens and other flat tools move the ink. But since my early studies, the boundaries between eastern and western calligraphy have been blurred. I often grind ink on an ink stone — a practice from both Chinese and Japanese calligraphy. Paying attention to my breath as I make marks is a large part of my awareness, as is being in touch with the chi flowing through my body, both of which come from eastern practices.

Bringing traditions from illuminated manuscripts into modern abstract painting is also important to me as a way of honoring my calligraphic heritage. I often use 23k gold leaf and some of my pieces keep the small and precious feeling from those early books.

Creating art for me is about responding to what is already on the page and working from my intuition. It’s about dialog: what is happening, what needs to be done next? All of a sudden a thought, or a message comes — use indigo here, a spot of gold there. I try to keep the flow of communication open and follow through without questioning. What happens is a surprise to me. My work is not planned out and carefully executed. It is a process that takes me from one place to another.

And I’m a great fan of cropping. If the whole piece doesn’t work there is always a gem hidden on the page, and it’s my job to find it. Sometimes that process takes longer than the painting itself.  continue with poetry