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Train 2

Train 2, Bethanya Abebe, MFA Fine Arts (Painting/Drawing)

My sketchbook is filled with automatic, bold gestural drawings, where I extract figurative forms, and process drawings that produce inventive forms and experimental compositional studies. My sketchbook is a direct link to my painting process, and the place where I uncover the beginnings of a painting. I find new ideas and discoveries each day as I record the unexpected lines or shapes, or the feeling of a shared experience. I am searching for those moments of beauty in the smaller things that are so often overlooked. Forms and color are metaphoric words that I use to write on my canvas. Each work leads me on to the next, in a process of discovery and understanding that drives my aesthetic practice and articulates my life and feelings.

When I was 13 I moved to Dallas from Ethiopia. The bold colors in my paintings are inspired by my childhood surroundings. I am also assimilating these experiences with the ones I now have as an adult. My graphic compositions are highly detailed yet I allow for solid colored shapes for the eye to rest. I start drawing with gestural shapes that evolve into figurative forms. I then am able to subdivide these shapes into more detailed descriptions that describe a personal experience. My undergraduate work in a fibers course inspired me to incorporate tactile fabrics into my painting as well as embroidery. I minimized the density of forms and enjoyed the simplicity and boldness of color and space.