Canadian artist April White presents her portfolio of work that she calls “surreal.” Find out more about her by visiting her website.
I have been making art for as long as I can remember. A love of drawing and painting early in life, naturally led onto formal studies in Fine Art, specializing in drawing at York University in Toronto, Canada. The following years were spent refining my skills and observing people, cultures and nature on my extensive travels across Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. Now based in Sydney, Australia, I work full time as an artist.
I often start a new work without a destination. Imagery falls into my head and I place it on the surface as it occurs to me using the surface and mark making to help guide me through the drawing. When working on surreal elements that derive from various levels of my psyche and sometimes the collective unconscious, I end up seeing many different themes develop at the same time.
At first I don’t think too much about what the subject is or why it is – it’s more about the feeling. As the imagery and composition is sometimes a surprise to me, it isn’t until I reflect back on the picture that it starts to make sense and reveal meaning.
There is a sense of Jungian dream symbolism in my portrait work, with recognizable real objects placed in unrealistic ways. There is no intellectualization of the work while it’s being worked on – it is more a conversation with symbol, form, colour, and feeling.
My current series of surreal portrait drawings and surreal landscapes reflect my personal experience as an artist and as a human being trying to find order in a world of chaos.
The detailed, anonymous portraits are created using frenetic pencil lines and thin layers of gouache combined with scratches on a clay board surface. I’ve recently expanded the use of layering techniques using a collage style and digital tools.
April White invites you to follow her on Facebook.