I grew up in a house at the bottom of a hill. I watched my mother panic as water would stream into our windows, down the walls, and pool along the floors in the house. Every Spring the rains would bring water rushing down the hill and flowing across our front yard and into our garage. There were days I was excused from school to help my mother bail out the basement of the house. (Never buy the house at the bottom of a hill). That would be the beginning of my interest in what continues to be a weather story within my art.
Like weather, emotion is mutable. The most important element I work with is emotion. Capturing a breaking wave as a drawing on paper is like trying to define grief or happiness. It’s elusive, until you allow yourself to get within that wave and experience all of the levels and details that make life so distressing, and yet so delicious. Each piece I create has a story and an overriding emotion that develops gradually and organically. Stories reveal themselves through layers of thoughtful crafting, to become tornadoes, ocean swells, explosions, clouds, and other weather phenomena. Maybe it’s my perception of control, or lack thereof, that compels me to draw upon unusual weather as inspiration. I am often awestruck by giant illuminated clouds and raucous ocean waves. Nature makes me expand with wonder and shrink with trepidation at the possibility of being devoured by it. It’s an amazing time to be an artist on this planet, with so many losses and so many discoveries.
Each piece begins with scribed elements on cotton rag paper. The scribed lines become geometry, text, and framework that initially define each piece. Colored washes of inks and dyes become an abstract underpainting. Washes saturate the paper, flowing through the incised lines, enhancing them, and creating the emotional framework, guiding me through the drawing process. Pastels, charcoal, razors and graphite are all used to create the top layers of imagery defining the final subject. My work is best described as a union between imagination and nature.
Judith Maureen Brandon was born in Indianapolis, IN in 1963.
She attended the Cleveland Institute of Art where she earned a BFA in enameling and drawing. She has been awarded numerous Best in Shows across the country for her large dynamic drawings as well as an Ohio Arts Council Grant and several solo exhibitions. She was included three times in the highly competitive National Weather Biennale international juried exhibition. She is represented by the Kenneth Paul Lesko gallery in Cleveland, OH.
Upon meeting Judith Brandon you wouldn’t imagine her to be the artist behind the large dynamic works on paper she creates. Standing at just five feet she has to be extremely inventive at how she manipulates the materials in her studio. Pieces are often worked on upside down because it is one way to reach the upper edges of her paper.
Her work can be viewed in several publications, including, 2015 Summer/Autumn Zymbol literary and art magazine; Book Cover Hathaway, Michael J. Environmental Winds: Making the Global in Southwest China. University of California Press, and Manifest International Drawing Annual editions 10, 8, 6 &5.
Her work has currently been accepted into the National Weather Biennale in Norman Oklahoma and Drawing Discourse and international juried show at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. This show is highly competitive and only 42 pieces were accepted out of 912 entries. September of 2016 she shared in Three Voices: Conversations of Life and Conflict, a three person exhibition at the Canton Museum of Art in Canton, OH