Naomi Schlinke

BLUE BLOOMS   2016 47” x 35” ink on mulberry paper


2016 47” x 35” ink on mulberry paper

CRIMSON WITH GREEN FLAKES   2016 45.5” x 33.5” ink on mulberry paper


2016 45.5” x 33.5” ink on mulberry paper

My paintings register the flux of living forms and the patterns that underpin reality . Guided by simple instructions and concepts, my process is intuitive and physical. Movement, stillness, and breath, form the touchstone for all of my work. I have always maintained a commitment to process inspired work and the craftsmanship that stabilizes it. My painting is rooted in the practices of lyrical abstraction. Working in loose-knit series that are bound by common variables, the work usually begins with a simple instruction or event. Alongside this purely painterly practice, I also use fragments of these paintings within collage series. Working in ink, with its unparalleled fluidity, staining intensity, and transparency, has become a steady aspect of my practice. The unsized mulberry paper on which I often work, acts like a two-sided sponge. When one sheet is placed on top of another, the “DNA” from the top sheet soaks through and becomes a fragment within another, new but related, artwork. Using both the kinesthetic gesture and organically arising stain forms, the painting becomes an alternate world of suggestive forms and spaces. I am drawn to the sensuous and the contemplative, the beautiful and the provocative. The primary address of my work is to the imagination and its body, where unstable images take on meaning, association, and even narrative possibilities. It finds some of its antecedents in the work of Chinese “flung ink” artists, as well as in the fluid manipulations of Abstract Expressionism, and the ecstatic uncertainties of Surrealism.

My first show was with the San Francisco gallery, Braunstein-Quay, in 1991. Since relocating to Austin, Texas in 1994, I have exhibited my work at numerous venues including the Robert McClain Gallery in Houston, The Dallas Contemporary and the MAC, Women & Their Work, Texas State University in San Marcos, D Berman Gallery in Austin, and most recently, D. M. Allison Gallery in Houston. In the 1970’s and early 80’s I danced with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company and the Joe Goode Performance Group, both based in San Francisco. Before coming to San Francisco, I received a B.A. and M.A. in dance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Much of my approach to painting is founded on the experiences that I absorbed as a dancer. The ideas of Merc Cunningham, John Cage, and other Black Mountain graduates figured prominently in the choreographic milieu of San Francisco in the 1970’s. The transition from dance to painting as my primary professional focus began in my mid-thirties, a pivotal age for all athletes. During my years in dance, I savored my off-hours as a visual artist. To this day, they both occupy my creative imagination and practice. Nevertheless, I found myself drawn to a future of greater independence and flexibility that the painting life offered---to say nothing of the rewards of creating work that one can live with day by day. The forces at work on the dancing body still adhere in my painting.

FOREST   2015 72” x 76” ink on mulberry paper


2015 72” x 76” ink on mulberry paper