Introducing Irene Yesley of Bainbridge Island, Washington. Irene describes herself as a geometric abstract minimalist, designing flat, hard-edge patterns against a relatively flat background. Physical textures, such as brush strokes, play a minimal role to the interplay of positive and negative shapes, and the emotional impact of color.
Irene describes her journey:
I earned an MFA in printmaking from Arizona State University. After graduation, I bought two floor looms and started making rugs and tapestries. Eventually I grew frustrated with the restraints of weaving, the warp and the weft, and especially the fact that I could never change anything, so I sold my looms and started down the path of rediscovering what kind of artist I wanted to be. I attended Haystack School of Arts and Crafts in Maine, where I was fortunate enough to have Warren Seelig as my instructor. He opened the door to all sorts of materials and experimentation.
Since then I have used pencil, pastel and oil stick on paper, done reverse painting on Plexiglas, acrylics on wooden panels and gesso board and now I have returned to painting on layers of Plexiglas and stacking them to make 3 dimensional paintings.
The outdoors is the biggest influence on my work. The first landscape I knew was Spokane, Washington, where I grew up. That was followed by the cactus of Arizona for 5 years, the urbanscapes of Boston and Washington, DC, the chaparral of Topanga Canyon, and 22 years in the desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico. For six years until 2004, we had a condo in Kas, Turkey, on the Turquoise Coast of the Mediterranean, where I spent six months a year.
Now I live on an island across the sound from Seattle in a temperate rainforest. Without even being aware of what was happening, each new location has changed the shapes and colors in my work.
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