This week at Art Insights, Meri Page, artist and professor of graphic design at SUU, encouraged artists to think about making work that defines them personally.
Page expressed how important the research behind her art projects is in order to make artwork that’s truly “hers.” She urged her audience to always have two questions running through their mind when creating a piece of art: “What gets me excited?” and “How will I integrate what I’m excited about into my work?”
To spark the development of ideas centered around what truly gets people excited, Page shared her research and experimenting tactics in order to develop artwork that reflects her personality.
To give anecdotal evidence of this process, Page took her audience through a few of her art series from beginning to end. Stemming from her pure excitement for the subjects, here are some of the ideas/things Page has developed her art series off of:
Growing up in Maine, Page was surrounded by dramatic landscapes. As a child, she was encouraged to always be outside, experiencing nature in Maine’s oceanic landscape. She explained that she was exposed to abstract art at an early age because of her introduction to the abstraction in nature.
As an artist, Page’s work explores the environment, systems and materials in nature. For one of her projects, Page created a diorama of one of Maine’s islands. This particular project made Page excited because of her love and familiarity with her home state, as well as her love for nature and landscapes in general.
Page began explaining her interest in crystal growing by telling childhood stories of failed crystal growing attempts. Page was motivated to come out with different results than she did experimenting with crystal growing as a child. Little did she know, crystal growing would become part of her major art pieces.
As part of her diorama, she began growing crystals to resemble different sections of scenery. To form a snow-like texture, Page created salt crystals. To create a shoreline for her island, she used a combination of ammonia and salt to create her crystal. To create a cloud-like structure, she used ammonia crystals.
After finishing this art project, Page kept pursuing crystal growing for two more years because of her extreme interest and excitement in the process.
Page developed her love for maps at an early age by thumbing through National Geographic magazines. As Page expressed, “maps are catalysts for future experiences.”
To create her own atlas she photographed her diorama and then proceeded to piece the photographs together into her own design or map.
“My projects are never really finished,” Page said. “My projects are constantly being reinvented as one project gets left behind.”
In her closing remarks, she encouraged artists to continually be practicing to improve their craft or talent, just like an athlete or any other professional would. To create impact, she quoted artist Susan O’Malley, “Art is a practice, find the magic.” To view Page’s abstract art she creates using various materials visit her website.