Claudia Schouten was born in San Francisco. She is a long-time resident of Eugene. Oregon. With an education in graphic design and illustration and over 20+ years experience in those fields, Claudia has also been a life-long artist and her passion lies with the production of multi-media paintings created by layering art materials with resin. Influenced by her father’s precision in illustration and design, her mother’s layered photography, and a number of master painters, including Klimt and Waterhouse, Claudia’s pieces illuminate the culmination of the real, surreal and the pattern of textures.
Artist Statement – While I work from my photographs, it is the essence of the moment and the way that moment affects me on an emotional level, that I infuse in each piece. What strikes me most particularly is the way water nurtures and reclaims simultaneously, sometimes gently, sometimes violently. I am never lost on the evidence of its power when I float, always in awe of the beauty it creates, even in scenes of decay. This reverence coupled with the physical sensations of buoyant drifting in the deliberate motion of river’s path is often profound. There is always pause for introspection and always a lesson of value and beauty.
I use wood as the base of my work as it is so prolific along the river banks of the McKenzie. I enjoy allowing a trace, sometimes more, of the grain to show through the paint and become part of the piece itself. The textures of maple, fir and oak have a flow not unlike water currents. After choosing and prepping the wood, I use a variety of media in between layers of resin. I use different materials in each piece, depending on what I aim to achieve and how playfully exploratory I feel. I often feel the piece tells me what it needs. I primarily paint with traditional and sumi-e watercolor. In addition, I may use acrylic paint, permanent marker, spray paint, primer, colored pencil, ink, paper fiber, glue, and pearlescent pigment for tinting the resin. I mix the paint and/or resin ranging from translucent to opaque to enhance shadow or allow light to travel through each layer. The reveal under different sources of light creates a work that seems to change with the seasons, the time of day and the weather. It is highly dynamic, which is what I love so much about working with these elements.
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