Melissa Parhm | Artist Statement
Baby Blue, Silverpoint on Prepared Panels, 2020
Luminosity and unseen communication drive my work. The elements–earth, air, fire,
water, and space–are my muses. I create from a place of stillness and allow my work to
Baby Blue, is a visual response to whales found beached on Bolinas and Agate Beach. It is a way to honor their life and bring awareness to our oceans and the health of the beings that live in them.
With Baby Blue I begin by preparing the panels in order to create a foundation for the silver. Building up many layers of luminous ground enables the interplay of light with the silver, creating a three-dimensional effect. The sun’s rays shifting on the panel’s surface results in an image that is ever-changing. New forms emerge and dissolve, like ocean waves.
Drawing with silver is sustainable and connects me to the lineage of artists I’m influenced by who worked in silverpoint in the ages before graphite was discovered and mined. I go into my studio, the elements, I contemplate their underlying wisdom. They are all we have; they are the matter we are made of.
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