Process

 

As an artist, I find sanctuary in the act of creation.  I am drawn to the process of a piece and the conversation that is initiated between the work and myself.  Relationships are a common theme in my work as I tackle the ideas of barriers, separation, human behavior, color, and my own character.  I am drawn to capturing moments and bringing the palette of life to the canvas. 
Recently, my work has dealt with layers.  These are layers of experience, layers of memories, emotion, and how they affect us on a daily basis. 

Woven Strangers, Monumental Minis  (2020) 

Over the course of my career, art has always been a place where I have narrated my life and has naturally been the language used to interpret my story.  This has translated in many forms; through watercolors during the birth of my children, through acrylic during some health issues, and even through ballpoint pen through the loss of my brother.  I tackle the ideas of barriers, separation, human experience, and my own character. The act of creating something from nothing is a remarkable tool, which can be used to heal and to understand the deeper sea of our own minds. It is a place I find sanctuary, peace, reflection, and often clarity. 

 

In June of 2019, I received a life-saving double lung transplant at Duke University.  This body of work, Woven Strangers,  is a direct reflection of my experience with the surgery and my healing that followed afterward.  These pieces were not born together, they were cut and sewn together.  They exist separately yet bound together in a beautiful dance.  Colors cover elements of a piece's past and weave new movements and marks made. I am deeply thankful for the life that was donated to me. This body of work is meant to reflect the spectacular joy and gratitude I feel every day.

Alluvium  (2019) SOLD

These abstract works show movement and colors eroding, they make visible the process of washing away or settling in stillness. They help me to recognize the beauty in the unknown. There is a forced loss of control in these pieces and acceptance of marks made and unchanged.  My process for this collection is not unlike Gerhard Richter or Helen Frankenthaler as I employ staining techniques as pouring and scraping paint across the surface.  My work asks for only a few marks that are made and no more; they are thoughtfully constructed. Through this work, my own frailty and truths are splashed across the page, losing at one point and gaining at another.

This body of work, Alluvium, represents the tides and the sediment left behind.  What fertile soil is born? This is an exploration of my new life post double lung transplant.

Dichotomy (2018) SOLD

Dichotomy examines daily experience and meaning through gestural works on paper. This past year was marked by a very deliberate routine that denied the flexibility to create works or make decisions based on personal trust, reflection, and intuition. This exercise was a method for me to encourage a return to a more automatic manner of creating that relied on instinct and training. The works range from light and formal to darkly layered and atmospheric studies. The mark-making, color and movement represent the dichotomy of the time lived and time considered. 

 

It is singular, a fingerprint or a made mark. It is a landscape separated from space but not immune to the forces that shaped it. It is a still life, flat and quiet and memorable. It is as simple as wanting two things to be different but recognizing that they begin to take the shape of the same word. 

Raleigh, North Carolina Artist

© Jean Gray Mohs Studio 2020

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