Jen Tough Gallery

 

Erin McCluskey Wheeler

Papers #48, A Fine Heart, mixed media on paper, 28x20, 2017 (click to enlarge)


Look for Erin's solo show at the gallery in August, 2018.

Erin McCluskey Wheeler's mixed media paintings are process-oriented, beginning with a scrap of a painting, an experiment in color, or a found photograph. Erin pieces the papers together following colors, forms, and shapes -- building up layers of collage material then drawing and painting over with gouache and acrylic to create bright, densely layered paintings. There is often the suggestion of topography and water, botanical forms, and big curves of space.


Papers #29, mixed media on paper, 28x20, 2017 (click to enlarge)


All of the pieces in the Papers Series start with accumulated and collected paper: postcards from family and friends, envelopes, sketchbook pages, her daughter’s doodles, old wallpaper and photographs, hand-painted papers, and office supply stickers. Erin pieces the papers together following colors, forms, and shapes. There is often the suggestion of topography and water, botanical forms, and big curves of space.

Her work, like quilting, is full of strong and vivid color combinations, asymmetrical and strip piecing, reused old material, uneven and large line work (stitching), and the use of hidden protective charm symbols. Erin views her work of cutting and piecing and gluing and painting over as a method to record and share events of familial and personal importance.  In piecing together these disparate pieces, she gets to explore the themes of regeneration and rebirth, of bringing new life to old things.  

Many Distances, mixed media on paper, 22x30, 2018  (click to enlarge)


The Lake and the Trees, mixed media on paper, 2018  (click to enlarge)


Papers #46, Coral Mountain, mixed media on paper, 2018  (click to enlarge)


Papers #27, Desert Hills, mixed media on paper, 2018  (click to enlarge)