About Mj Lemanski
Making art is hard.
I can find a million reasons to stay away from my studio, to avoid the feelings of vulnerability and risk of failure. As I return to creating art, I find I am judging my work more critically. I have high expectations of myself, to produce my best work all of the time. That's what makes the time in my studio more challenging as I experiment with new techniques and materials. I am working hard to free myself from my own expectations and judgement.
Making art is also obsessive, an addiction.
Once I am fully engaged in my studio, the outside world disappears. My focus is on the work, the energy and the decisions I make everytime I pick up a paintbrush or a pair of scissors. There is nothing better.
Most of my current work is mixed media. I enjoy the relationships of different materials combined in one piece. Oil and collage, gouache and collage, monotype and collage.
The monotypes I create are done through a process where oil paint is applied to a plexi-glass plate. A wet piece of paper is carefully placed over the plate and then run through a print press. The print captures the brushstrokes and textures from paint on a non-absorbent surface. Instead of the paint being on canvas or paper, which absorbs the color in a very different way, the result is a fresh image of color and strokes.
Collage is then added to the monotype. The thousands of papers I use as my palette are found in hundreds of places.
My oil & gouache paintings are done in a similar manner. The paint is applied first. A varnish is applied to the surface and then the collage is added. A final varnish seals the paper to the surface.
I recently began working with pastels. I find the pure color and the direct application to be a new direction and a challenge.