Where I am in nature is what I paint. My studio, Forest Light, is located in the Piedmont, or center of NC We live surrounded by trees, next to a state park with fields of grasses and cedar and walnut trees. We grow gardens and travel to water and mountains, sometimes to fly fish. Changing seasons, weather, the elements, and especially the light, are constantly transforming all these places.
Being present in impermanence is my meditation as well as my painting practice. Painting is a kind of magic, an illusion of the movement of life, like fire or water, on a flat, still surface. Beginning with a photo of golden grasses in a winter field or rocks in water currents, I remember the work of other painters, even stealing techniques from them! Careful observation and representation play against invented colors and shapes or open areas of canvas. I use oil sticks as well as traditional oil paints. The wax in the oil sticks can create large areas of brilliant color or built up texture. Sometimes bars of surprising colors remind us that the space in the painting is just a trick.
I often shift my materials and approach. Watercolor, with its exquisite play of moving transparent color against the white paper, is as compelling as oils. I have always been drawn to symbols from spiritual traditions. Sometimes bits of nature are incorporated into paintings of mandalas, or Wiccan and Native American forms, or Japanese and Chinese art. Sometimes the physical bits of nature themselves, bird or wasp nests, bugs and butterflies, wood, lace and junk antique finds become parts of altars or installations when I create a three dimensional context for my paintings.
Adele Wayman’s paintings reveal the techniques and nuances of her chosen medium. The artist meticulously works and reworks her canvases adding layers of paint only to scrape them off to repaint the surface again and, often, again. Wayman’s paintings can reveal two different scenes or the same scene in different light, different moods or veer toward abstraction—letting the viewer deep into the artist’s nuanced mind, as it wanders with focused attention through the seasons outside the big bay windows of her studio. As Wayman named her studio, Forest Light, so too has she titled her exhibition at the Turchin Center. Inspired by the natural world, she has chosen to live in the secluded wooded country side outside of Greensboro, NC where she honors the light through daily meditation and work in her studio.
Mary Anne Redding,
Curator, Turchin Center of Visual Art,
Appalachian State, Boone, NC 2017