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Lita Kenyon

My father, Robert Kenyon was an artist and musician and along with my mother was the initial introduction to art and music very early on. The discipline of music goes back generations in my family. Although I used to read music, I couldn’t read a note now if my life depended on it. My father also studied art at the Chicago Art Institute and the Kansas City Art Institute so my initial introduction to art and training was by my dad.

Influential artists: Phillip Guston, Jim Dine, Post Impressionists for their use of color, Jenny Nelson, Deborah Dancy, Fred Free, Keith Higginbotham and Aaron Beebee, contemporary collagists.

"Studio Ghosts: When you're in the studio painting, there are a lot of people in there with you - your teachers, friends, painters from history, critics... and one by one if you're really painting, they walk out. And if you're really painting YOU walk out." — Philip Guston

Biography

I studied art in the late 70s and early 80s. My undergraduate experience was eye opening and idyllic. Although I studied printmaking and drawing in graduate school, I never forgot my love of painting. Drawing however is my strongest suit and I always turn to drawing when trying to figure out what to create next.

In 2013, I realized that I needed to evolve. I turned to collage and eventually started mixed media pieces incorporating my stylized drawing technique. The collage process allowed me to focus on cultural themes and mores. I distilled mid-century commodity culture with wrestler imagery, themes of control with those lacking artifice. I also began to look at scraps of paper as abstract shapes, eventually contrasting minimal linework with bold shapes created through the cut and paste process. I am very comfortable with white space enveloping my collage and drawing elements. It isn’t intimidating, but enlivening. By 2019, I concluded that I needed to move myself into painting again. I realized that abstraction provides so many opportunities to think about color, form, value, composition and balance. It seemed like a natural outgrowth from my experience with mixed media.

Publications

Abstract artist solves creative problems through paintings by Aarik Danielsen of the Columbia Daily Tribune, 1/8/21

“A Moment Just About to Happen”, Ariane Fairlie “Artist Portfolio Feature” Kolaj Magazine, Issue 11, March 2015

Visual Edge: New artists at Matter by Alec Clayton, August 15,2013.


Lita Kenyon lives and works in Tacoma, Washington