Norma Greenwood’s inspiration for her sensuous oil paintings of rumpled bed linens and pillows comes from her exploration of the nuances of light and how it changes the way we see everyday objects. For more of Norma’s art, please visit her website.
My art is romantic; I am a painter of objects and relationships. My current series titled, “Interior Landscapes” links intimacy, solitude and relationships with shapes meant to be sensuous and voluptuous. I am intrigued by the idea that pillows contain our breath and dreams, the sensory experience of the journey traveled at night. The folds and creases of a rumpled bed are mysterious and evoke an unseen presence that becomes a metaphor for the body. The subject is both metaphysical; bringing up associations with dreams and the life we live when asleep, and anthropological; traces of that life which are left behind in the morning on the unmade bed.
My paintings are structured around the relationship between shadow, light, composition and scale. Even as a very young artist, I was fascinated by the effects of shadow and light on objects and experimented with a variety of reflective surfaces to alter spatial perception. Shadows are imbued with mystery, they intercept light and define forms in new ways; painting them often feels like being in the darkroom developing a photograph.
I experience art making as a multi-layered process involving both right and left-brain skills. My preliminary thinking, planning and computer work engage personal references, usually my photographs.
I like sketching my idea directly on the canvas, rather than working from drawings; it keeps the work fresh and exciting. The actual painting process can be a lot like solving a puzzle, totally engrossing and very hard to put down; so much so that I’ll often forget to eat lunch. My method involves documenting the development of the work by continually using photographs and the computer to critique and mark my progress.
I am a native Brooklyn Girl. My art career began with Saturday morning children’s classes at the Brooklyn Museum and continued to Hunter College.
I have a graduate M.S. degree in Fine Art and Education from Hunter College. Studying with masters such as Robert Motherwell and Richard Baziotes had a powerful influence on my art. My development as an artist has also been greatly enhanced by travel to nearly every continent where I have had the opportunity to explore art and technique. I enjoy exploring new ways of working and experimenting with media including papermaking, gilding plexiglass, and collage. I have worked as a freelance photographer and taught art as an adjunct at Queensboro Community College.
Among the grants I have received are: New York State Council on the Arts and the Abby Austin Mural Arts Fellowship from the National Academy Museum. I received a George Sugarman Award, a Ludwig Vogelstein grant and a NYFA Workshop Grant. My work is represented in private and public collections including The Museum of American Folk Arts, AT&T, CUNY Art Gallery, Citicorp and Columbia Pictures Ltd.
I was commissioned by the Jacksonville, Florida International Airport, to create a public art installation. The project was completed and installed in 2008. I attended the BAU residency in Otranto, Italy in 2012. Spring 2015 exhibitions include The Po Kim Gallery, New York, The Affordable Art Fair, New York and Sideshow, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.