And we’re back! Happy New Year, Happy 2017, Happy January, and Happy New Edition of Mind of the Artist, our blog series featuring the talented and diverse artists of the Capitol Hill Art League. We are lucky to have these great artists in our midst here at CHAW, and are especially pleased to start year two of this series on such a strong note. Kim’s story is the perfect way to kick off this year, as her own telling of her life wends its way from printmaking to painting and, ultimately, to a deeper need–to connect through our personal stories to a bigger story, a greater universal heart.
I am a painter, printmaker and collage artist. I studied at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where I received my BFA in printmaking and bookarts. I relocated west to Washington State University to complete my MFA, focusing on printmaking, monotype, and large format book structures. My time and travels in Washington and the Pacific Northwest ignited my interest in landscape as a visual language.
After graduate school, I worked on the Umatilla Indian Reservation at Crow’s Shadow Institute, a non-profit printmaking and art studio. We were building a studio at the pediment of the Blue Mountains in Eastern Oregon for the tribal members to learn and use printmaking in their art practice. I worked there for almost a year before I was offered a position at Tyler Graphics in NY as an etching printer. There I learned how to make fine art prints for artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella, Al Held, and John Walker. It was an intense and amazing experience to work with artists of this caliber. Their art and personality loomed large in the print studio. My personal artmaking took a secondary role until I discovered collage and watercolor. I began making small stories on paper in my spare time.
After working many years as a professional printer, I found painting to fit my personal artistic need. The act of painting was immediate, active, and focused. I wanted to remove the barriers and the patience of the printing process and dive into the storytelling of painting.
I paint to tell stories; my own personal story, a universal story, a story heard, an inspirational story. Stories about a place in time, a specific landscape, outer space, or an interior landscape are all folded into a painting.
Essentially, I think of my images as landscapes. Abstracted and full of symbolism, I record the sights, color and sensations of being in that place. Rural and urban landscapes, mountains and oceans all feature in the paintings. Images of water: bodies of water, rain, weather, symbolize change, release of control, being lost, or unmoored. I am fascinated by the idea of finding a point of location on such a vast and always shifting ocean. Likewise, the sky and celestial markings are curious to me. I use the symbols of longitude and latitude, constellations, timelines, and temperature as markers of my internal position.
I see my “landscape” paintings as a universal story that many may be able to relate to. I hope my paintings bring community and highlight what we have in common in our hearts and minds, rendering the ineffable in paint.
Kim Bursic, Capitol Hill Art League, Mind of the Artist, 2017.
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