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Wendy Ackrell - San Francisco, CA

Grappling with colors, weaving them together, trying to find balance and harmony — that is at the crux of all my explorations. I could work another lifetime and still never tire of seeing colors shape-shift as they cozy up, make allowances for each other, or flat-out brawl. It’s a source of infinite fascination to me.

For many years, my paintings have had a strong horizontal bias. I’ve often thought of it as the flow of some kind of current or slipstream, tide in and tide out. Lately I’ve begun integrating the vertical with the horizontal, sparked in part by the evolution of my fiber paintings. Incorporating this new element has been both demanding and invigorating. My paintings feel more intimate now and beckon the eye inward.

Mathematics also appears often in my work. I find it fascinating how its unchanging nature can be expressed so elegantly in art. One of the sparest paintings I’ve done, Liminal Perpendicularity, is just an algebraic equation set to color on canvas. Whether I’m marveling at the Golden Ratio in Hokusai’s The Great Wave or the Fibonacci sequence in a chartreuse head of Romanesco, sacred geometry — and math in general — constantly engages and inspires me.

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Inexorable curiosity and the passion to read, learn, write, and then synthesize these discoveries are what have made me an artist. Being able to spend my life asking why and how and what then is the most satisfying feeling I could dream of. There’s nothing equal to that swooping delight when you finally make a breakthrough and get to claim that new wisdom.