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The Goliad Monitor: Gravity and Color

Photograph by Christi LaViolette
Photograph by Christi LaViolette

Camille Green shares a few words with us about painting, inspiration, and art itself in preparation for her appearance as a visiting artist at the opening of 2015-2016 Artist-in-Residence Christi LaViolette’s new photography exhibition, “Life Looked Over: a Picture of West Texas History.” Green’s original artwork will be available at the event, which runs from 12:00-4:00 on Saturday, April 9 at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton, TX.

Goliad: Tell us about your preferred medium, and are there any recurring themes in your work?

C: My preferred medium is acrylic on canvas, and I love to incorporate texture in different ways. My favorite right now is tiny glass beads I add to the paint. I also use heavy gesso to add texture.

I’ve had many recurring themes and phases over the years: Dia de los Muertos, NASA’s images from space, maps, all kinds of animals, lots of abstract expressionism—and my absolute favorite is my work inspired by Radiohead’s In Rainbows.

G: Tell us a little more about that work. What inspiration did you take from the album? How did it translate onto the canvas?

C: I enjoy painting to music—always have—but this album really motivated me…something about their willingness to embrace their capacity for uncomplicated beauty made me simplify my artwork. I start with glossy black paint and add the glass beads, get it nice and thick. After it’s dry, I use a piece of cardboard and line the colors on that. Then, simply scrape it across the black and it comes alive. It’s different every time; if I don’t like it I paint it black again and restart. Sounds simple, but it’s so much fun.

G: Anyone who’s seen your work can speak to the importance of its colors. Your paintings use sharp, vivid colors similar to what we see in Latin American traditions. You mentioned your series based on Dia de los Muertos. Do you think location influences artists? Do you paint the way you do because you’re a Texan?

C: Thank you. I’ve always gravitated towards colorful things, in art and in every other way. Living in such a diverse part of Texas and knowing such diverse people is absolutely where my interest in Day of the Dead began. I was raised Catholic, too, so I was introduced to this holiday at a young age. I don’t know if my location influences me more than it inspires me, but I know there are few things more full of color than a Texas sunset.

G: What are you going to teach your daughter about art?

C: I will try my best to show her that art is all around her, even in the everyday things. Exposure, encouragement and foster.

Life Looked Over: A Picture of West Texas History is free and open to the public on Saturday, April 9 at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton, TX from 12:00-4:00.

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