Deborah Chlebek (Ohio) curriculum vitae
I am absorbed by visibility. My painting is a response to the pure force of seeing. There is an urgency to seize reality and try to pin it down with this crazy substance paint. I have been involved with the Ohio landscape since childhood and in it I find endless visual impulses for painting; a movement of leaves that hang down in front of me, the compression of a leaden sky pressing down on my forehead, the whip-snap of a branch as it changes direction in space, the tenderness of a particular curve of tree, the crackle of light and shadow, the aching green of a field in early spring. Painting comes alive if it is captured as an experience. Physical contact with nature is essential. The drama of weather and the continuous bombardment of sensations drive the image until it becomes a culmination of experiences over time. My hope is to get at the reality of a place by painting everything in the picture in reaction to everything else. As Braque said, “We must choose. A thing cannot be real and realistic at the same time.” The contradiction of nature’s tangible realness on the one hand and its transient-ness on the other fascinates me, as does the ongoing question of the very nature of the artistic process.
I am inspired by the great and obsessional landscape painters - Cezanne, Soutine, Constable, Van Gogh, Monet – who engaged in an intense confrontation with the real resistant world with such authenticity.