ARTIST STATEMENT I am an artist who uses painting to interrogate the relationship between memory and those ‘silent’ objects that seem to trigger a plethora of forgotten smells, textures, colors and moments. When these silent objects speak, what is it that they say? And why do they move us the way that they do?
Memories are a strange concept in themselves; fragments of shattered moments, fleeting glimpses of the past. Feelings can move through you as shards of time flicker on your mind as if played from the tatty wheel of a super 8mm projector. A cone of golden light from a lens, filled with floating, dancing dust spores, casting a delicate square of quiet memories on a wall. Memories are powerful, intangible, ethereal. So often, these memories, these strange instances, are triggered by objects that can take us back to a specific time or place. My work examines these objects in such a way that the viewer might share a glimpse of their significance.
Through subtle yet bold brushwork, focused enough to beautifully render an image but loose enough to evoke the feeling of a shimmering memory, I render portraits of these silent objects. These images, at first seemingly bereft of people or places, suddenly feel filled with them; the objects carry the weight of a hundred stories, suggested by fraying laces, dusty lenses and well-loved toys. The paintings, of course, become silent objects in themselves; they are gestures to nostalgia, to care, to a life lived.
I hope that the images might connect us; in the personal beginnings of selected objects, there is something universal in the stories and memories they evoke. This is something that connects us all, across time. These are images about care, about significance, about cherishing a moment as it passes and remembering it fondly when it visits, perhaps whispered by one of those silent objects.
Blanche Guernsey grew up in Gillette, WY with a passion for art that continues today. As a self-taught artist, her medium of choice used to be pastels but as she experimented with other mediums she has found a fondness for oils. Her passion for people and family is evident in her early work, inspired mostly by her husband and five children. Blanche has evolved into an artist that uses nostalgic objects, bold colors and the playful shadows. As an introvert, Blanche has many levels and this is reflected in her work. A painting of a simple object becomes a way to share feelings and experiences from her own life and of those around her.
Guernsey has done artwork for clients all over the US and has been featured on the cover of Livability Magazine in 2014, and had a featured article in W of Wyoming magazine in 2015. Blanche is currently represented by AVA Community Art Center and Wyoming Art and Frame in Gillette, WY, Scarlows Gallery in Casper, WY, SAGE in Sheridan, WY, and the DAHL in Rapid City, SD.