Experimental art is responding to the colors and shapes as they are painted on a panel, not manipulating them to fill a preconceived notion of what the work should be. When the natural direction or flow of the work is nurtured, a finished painting evolves that connects with the viewer on a deeply harmonious level. Jody is an experimental artist.
Jody’s current abstracted landscape paintings frequently start with plein air oil studies, or photographs that focus on capturing a feeling or mood. Back in the studio, when working with a photograph, she prints them on plain paper. Then she uses colored pencils to convert the traditional landscape objects into geometric shapes and identify the underlying abstract design.
On a new, much larger hardboard panel, she blocks in the geometric shapes. She works back and forth between strengthening the darks, establishing the lights and capturing the feeling that drew her to the subject. She has no qualms about using painting knives, a brush handle, rubber color shapers, fingernails, or any other object at hand that serves the end goal.
But the most important part of Jody’s process is being sensitive to the evolving work, recognizing beautiful unplanned developments and preserving or enhancing them. This can mean totally giving up the original plan, but usually results in a superior piece.
Jody Ahrens has been immersed in art as long as she can remember. Both her parents were accomplished, well trained painters who delighted in nurturing her art endeavors from childhood. Although her early art education was in a well structured, traditional landscape style, Jody found the freedom of a more abstract form of expression at California Institute of the Arts.
Jody’s goal is to offer collectors a delightful escape into the depths of the painting. There is always a place for the viewer to go … a tempting path to explore … a shady woods just across the meadow … or a pond to rest by. By engaging your imagination, these works will always remain fascinating to you.