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Photograph by: Doug Gritzmacher

“Black has go into it...and you start seeing what you’re afraid of, you start seeing what you love and it becomes like a dream.” David Lynch

Art must be distinct. It’s job is to ask open-ended questions that arouse curiosity and intrigue. In my mind, a successful painting is one in which viewers believe they have walked into my dream, and step out with more questions than answers. Often I am told my work provokes emotions they can’t quite understand. Like a good poem, my work isn’t meant to give you the answers; it’s meant to stick with you.

I don’t know why people expect art to make sense. They accept that life doesn't make sense.” David Lynch

My work falls under the genre of Naturalism; I am reflecting reality but as I see it, dream it, feel it. My work in Naturalism is to create a tangible world for the audience to relate to, a tangible world that has a natural depiction of the elements, that is based in the elements of reality. I use reality in my work to manipulate the story from what is real to what could be real. To question the truth in reality. I appreciate the effort of manipulating the viewers perspective in order to expose a deeper truth.

"I don't think it was pain that made [Vincent Van Gogh] great - I think his painting brought him whatever happiness he had." David Lynch

I am drawn to the ordinary--a bowl of plums, a pair of legs, a quiet corner in a room. I sit with what has called my attention in the moment long enough until my perspective begins to shift and my understanding begins to change, like a person entering a dark room waiting for their eyes to adjust. Taking away my attachments to objects, in other words, so I can see them differently. 

Some of my work happens quickly - the way a person might scurry to write down the most lucid elements of a dream. Others unfold over many years, a kind of conversation between old and distant friends. 

If I am successful, I will leave viewers with a more complicated understanding of the world, to see the ordinary in a new way; to walk past and circle back; to slow down; to think about the unexpected way the light touching the face of the girl or about plums, not as fruit, but a juxtaposition symbolism throughout time and within a space on a canvas created out of my mind. 

Mostly, though, I want to offer my viewers a sense that the moment they see is one of a great number of other moments, a narrative that extends well before and well after the one I’ve captured. 

Contemporary Naturalist artist, Andrea Kemp, was born and raised in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley where she first began her formal art training under the instruction of prominent artist Daniel Sprick. She went on to study at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, then earned a BFA from the University of Utah. She continued her education at the Andreeva Academy, in Santa Fe. An avid student of Italian arts, culture and language, she has travelled throughout the country and taught painting in Italy since 2015. Andrea and her family currently reside in Golden, Colorado where her studio is located. She has been a regular instructor at the Art Students League of Denver for 14 years and served on their board for three years. 

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