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    Christy (Perrine) Harangozo

    About the Artist

    A landscape artist not afraid to push boundaries, Perrine has redirected the traditional use of pastel to create a unique style. Out of frustration with conventional use of pastel, she began exploring the use of colored acrylic ground to develop her working surface. Wanting to convey a sense of drama and power to pull the viewer into her landscape, she paints her ground with bold, strong brushstrokes that create a depth and added level of translated energy. A nod to the mastery of impressionism is constantly present in each of Perrine's compositions, specifically influenced by the dramatic and deliberate brush strokes present in the works of Edgar Degas.

    Her intentional choice of background tint serves to create an added dimension to each finished piece. This tone vibrating through lends itself to Perrine's desire to portray a sense of history in her work. Constantly toying with the pull from representation to abstraction, Perrine deftly crafts cool, comforting memories of places familiar to all. When describing her work she states, "I am intrigued by the mystery of texture and color. From a distance my work tells a story of familiarity of place and as the distance is shortened the senses experience the energy and mystery of that place, conveying the duality of nature. Enveloping my senses within and around nature has always given me a sense of belonging and expectation. I find my surroundings never create just one response; they always create a cacophony of senses. If I can capture and create even just a few of these feelings through my work, I consider myself successful. My Pacific Northwest surroundings beg me to interpret their story through my own story."

    Perrine comes from a background in mental health, working for years as a therapist, and said she is enjoying her second career as an artist. Her background has helped define her artwork. Instead of analyzing individuals, she explores and examines her own work, and in essence herself, pushing through to find balance in subject matter, portrayal and evocation.

    Artist's Statement

    Inspiration is the only plausible explanation for my drive to experiment and create. This inspiration most often comes from my Pacific Northwest surroundings but may also come from something as simple as a newly opened box of pastels. I am motivated by challenge, and particularly by the challenge of exploring innovative ways to work in the medium of soft pastels.

    I work with pastels because of their immediacy and vibrancy as well as their tactile response. I begin my pastels by creating a small thumbnail to determine a limited palette from which to work In my series, “Impressions of the Oregon Coast”, I use specific works of Edgar Degas as inspiration for palette as well as texture in each Oregon seascape. I relate to Degas’ desire to push the medium of pastel by exploring a variety of surfaces as well as manipulating the application of pastel. Through my own exploration, I have developed a method of tinting an acrylic ground for pastels with a warm, medium valued pigment. I then apply this ground with a large brush in a random pattern to masonite panels. I allow the texture of the surface as well as the tone to show through in the finished pieces to add dimension and visual interest. I use strong value contrast to create dramatic interest and variety of stroke as well as color isolation to invite the viewer to explore the work more intimately.

    I am currently exploring the use of purposeful texture to represent the past in narrative works which depict a story of both a past and present view. I also continue to be inspired to create landscapes and am working toward portraying increased energy and atmosphere in these works as well as a balance between abstraction and representation of nature.