Theresa Kennedy's First Public Exhibition: A Celebration of Abstract and Landscape Art

Theresa Kennedy's First Public Exhibition: A Celebration of Abstract and Landscape Art

A selection of Theresa Kennedy's artwork is currently on exhibition at Demitasse in Santa Monica, California (1149 3rd St, Santa Monica, CA 90402). The exhibition features a curated selection of both abstract and landscape artwork and can be viewed daily from 7 am to 4 pm, from Saturday, June 29th until Saturday, August 31st. Explore the full collection of Kennedy's artwork by visiting her online gallery.

The exhibition's construction started with cold wax artworks of pure abstractions, followed by landscapes. As Kennedy notes, “The landscapes are mainly experiments with different compositions, often using the rule of thirds as a simple start, and playing with lights and darks; from very contrasting values in Early Skies to an almost monochromatic, high-key piece like Iced Over.”

Mediums in Conversation: The Influence of Photography on Painting

Through years of experience in photography, composition became an important element that now informs her artistic process on canvas. Whether in landscape paintings or abstraction artworks, composition and the manipulation of different mediums are the fundamental aspects of the creative process that affect how the viewer experiences her paintings. At times, photos are used as inspiration for a painting or are integrated as collage elements within the abstract artwork.

In turn, the creation of the paintings has affected how and why photos are created. In a recent interview, Kennedy explains, “I definitely take more pictures as reference for potential paintings now when I travel, rather than just shooting to purely make a good photo.”

The symbiotic relationship between the photos and paintings is further explained: “[Recent] examples are some moody subway and street photos I’ve taken in New York with the Hipstamatic application, and reference photos of Zion and Bryce canyons for color and form.”

Peering into the Shadows: The Depths of Kennedy's Creations

A common theme found in both the photography and paintings is what Kennedy has termed a "dark discovery." In the cold wax paintings, layers are added in a way that allows the viewer to peer into the artwork, uncovering hidden details. This is similar to Kennedy’s style of photography, where little to no manipulation occurs, but due to shadows and dark areas, viewers have the opportunity to dive deeper into an image that is not simply overexposed but has a sense of depth. Both mediums encourage a deeper engagement with the art, revealing complexities beyond what is immediately visible.

Beyond traditional photography, Kennedy's recent exploration into abstract art with cold wax and oil has allowed her to delve into the realm of unconscious expression. This new direction merges her passion for capturing fleeting moments with a desire to convey intangible emotions and thoughts on canvas.

From Museums to Mentors: The Influences Shaping Kennedy’s Art

Generally, Theresa has always been intrigued by Impressionism works found in museums throughout the world. More specifically, the scope and style of work done by Gerhard Richter, a German abstractionist, has become a major inspiration. More immediately, artwork by fellow contemporary artist and friend, Debra Hintz, has influenced Theresa’s work with her defined layered palette knife technique.

Her artistic evolution has been shaped by collaborations with various mentors, including Julia Dean, Nelson Bakerman, and John D. Russell, each contributing to her growth and expanding horizons. Oil painting classes with Elizabeth Tucker at Creative Arts Group have been an important foundation in form, value, color, and edges. More recently, Theresa participated in a cold wax and abstract workshop with Anne Hebebrand in Todos Santos, Mexico.

As Theresa notes, “Anne’s body of work and the cold wax process opened up a whole new world for me, and an easier way to make more pieces simultaneously. I love the variety of tools you can employ, the addition and subtraction elements possible with cold wax, and how that all lends itself to abstractions.”

Additional workshops with artists such as Spanish painter Carlos San Millán, a master of color and light, and a recent color theory workshop with Ryan Wurmser have also shaped the way Theresa produces artwork.

As she continues to evolve creatively, Theresa embraces the title of Artist, recognizing that her journey has been defined by a constant pursuit of new artistic challenges and expressions.