SSL Certificate

Mira Gerard

June 2014

Painting with Source Images

Course Description
This workshop is about creating paintings which utilize collaged source images as a way to uncover meaningful imagery to work from. Collage is an intuitive way of thinking out loud, uncovering subconscious impulses and getting under the skin of ideas. Through that process, relationships develop between images and shapes in space, opening up possibilities for spatial illusion in combination with the flatness of the picture plane through surprising juxtapositions. Initially, we will create a series of narrative collages utilizing a variety of imagery from photographs, ephemera, and more, in combination with other 2-D materials. From that point, with the collages close by, each person will complete a study in oil paint and then translate that into a larger work in oil on canvas. The paintings will employ a traditional academic technique that begins with a monochromatic oil sketch followed by layers of color. The interpretation of the collage into paint will be approached in an open way, encouraging continued spontaneity and experimentation throughout the process, and resulting in surfaces that may contain both loose and refined passages. Throughout the week, we will pause regularly for group discussions, providing feedback and insight both formally and conceptually into the unfolding meaning and interpretation of the work.

Artist's Biography
Mira Gerard is a painter and an art professor at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. She received a BFA from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and an MFA from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Her work has been exhibited and collected internationally, including a solo exhibition in 2012 at the William King Museum in Abingdon, Virginia. Recent group exhibitions include states of being at, Drawing Discourse at Cooke Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina, and Third Coast National at K Space Contemporary in Corpus Christi, Texas. Her work can be seen in publications including 2012 Manifest International Painting Annual and (Re)-turn: A Journal of Lacanian Studies. She has completed residencies at The Vermont Studio Center, The Hambidge Center, and the Cill Rialaig Project in Ireland. She is a contributor for the online journal Figure/Ground communication and has presented papers on the intersection of desire, painting, and psychoanalysis at the Psychology & the Other Conference at Lesley University and the Southeastern College Art Conference. For more information, consult Mira’s website:

Artist's Statement
I spent my childhood in an alternative community in rural New Hampshire. My experiences there, in contrast to the world outside, have shaped my work and the way that I understand myself in relation to everything. In part because of that experience, I am compelled by characters in literature, film, and mythology whose subjectivity is described in a heightened visual way, usually through a significant encounter in the landscape.
Color and light are important to me, as are the physicality of the paint and the primary place that working with paint brings me to. My work is rooted in photographic and film-based images culled from various sources and often from my own staged photo shoots. I take cues from cinema, fairy tales, and dreams to construct paintings that deal with conflicting fantasies of display and negation. I paint with a strong sense of atmosphere and space, feeling around inside the images and responding with gestures of paint to the layered emotions and associations they evoke in me.

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