Artist Statement

Artist Dorothea Osborn in her studio.
Artist Dorothea Osborn in her studio.

I am interested in depicting the tension between dichotomies, especially, the ethereal, ephemeral, and fragmentary aspects (the concept of time) of contemporary society and personal life alongside the materiality of our existence.

The fleeting moment is a central experience. My work is to capture a moment in physical terms that explores the intersection of various dichotomies and tensions: between the physical world and the spiritual realm, representation versus abstraction; humor versus solemnity.

Picasso said that no art is truly abstract because the artist always starts from something. My work is generally established with imagery from life or sketches (as in a late relative’s collection of bottles), which I alter in a painterly language, both with a conscious and intuitive flow of materials and via a conscious level of semiotics. Utilizing mixed media with paint allows a tension between abstraction and representation. The construction and deconstruction of the physical surface is vital to this tension. I frequently employ and manipulate mixed media and a variety of tools to construct, disrupt, and deconstruct the surface, form, space, and representation. These materials, which can include oils, drawing materials, fabric, papers, found objects and processed materials, reveal surprises and push the tension between dichotomies.

My current work is not based on a single motif but on a variety of contemporary issues, especially the tension between dichotomies, most recently: the anxiety and tension between nature and the man made.

Vermont Studio Center