Prospecting From On High: What on Earth

Maloney_Turkey.72Colleen Maloney:
What on Earth

At Shift though Aug. 29th

By Cynthia Hibbard

Colleen Maloney was heading home from a road trip to Idaho with her husband when she Googled the local McDonalds in the Tri-City area so they could find a place to drive through for a quick bite to eat.

She suddenly found herself looking at mesmerizing satellite images of bright green circles made from center pivot irrigation and the geometry of plowed fields on her I-Phone.  They gave her the idea for a show interpreting aerial imagery of both natural and man-made forms from around the globe.

She looked everywhere she could find high-resolution imagery of pleasing color schemes and interesting land formations.”

Maloney spent hours trolling the Internet for source materials.  She looked everywhere she could find high-resolution imagery of pleasing color schemes and interesting land formations.  She ranged widely, from Spain to Abu Dhabi, from Turkey to Australia.

She worked her interpretations through painterly monoprints created in the print lab at Pratt Fine Arts Center.

“I’d gather three or four really interesting print-outs and take them to Pratt and work on those images until I finished them,” she said.  You’d find her hard at it dipping rollers, paint brushes, cotton swaps, sticks—all manner of utensils–into inky pools of color spread across several glass-topped tables and rolling her compositions through the press.  “Then I’d go back to my computer and find three or four more images,” she said.

To Maloney, her monotypes are essentially paintings on plexiglass that just happened to be transferred onto paper in the end. She quite enjoyed the immediacy of her project.  “Working with rich colors and bold, fluid strokes, shapes and fields of color appear spontaneously…”

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To Maloney, her monotypes are essentially paintings on plexiglass that just happened to be transferred onto paper in the end. She quite enjoyed the immediacy of her project.  “Working with rich colors and bold, fluid strokes, shapes and fields of color appear spontaneously,” she said.  “If you feel as through you are transported through color, line and the enthusiasm of my painterly monoprints, then I have succeeded.”

A graphic designer with 30 years’ experience, Maloney has concentrated on fine art for the last six or seven years.  She’s found that after a career producing such exacting creations as corporate brochures and logo designs that she’s had to unlearn the discipline of planning and tight deadlines.  She traces the loose and vibrant explorations in her show to a monoprint class she took from Eric Day Chamberlain, her co-exhibitor at Shift this month.   Put simply, after trying out the fluid and freeing process of painting on plexiglass, she was hooked.

Next she might veer in another direction, however. As a self-described “prospector” type of artist, Maloney likes to explore and experiment. But it’s hard to imagine she’ll leave behind her passion for monoprint.

“You know, I think from the comments I got at my opening, people just got it,” she said.  “They got what I was after. They got the aerial quality, the spaciousness, the territorial nature and the floating quality of my work.  I was really pleased by that.”

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“You know, I think from the comments I got at my opening, people just got it,” she said.  “They got what I was after. They got the aerial quality, the spaciousness, the territorial nature and the floating quality of my work.  I was really pleased by that.”