ALEAH COLBERT

Clothing in Stages

While helping my mom clean out my grandfather and grandmother's basement, I came across various family photo albums consisting of portraits, trips, birthdays, and holiday photos that I have never seen before. Looking at these newly discovered photos, I become drawn to my grandmother’s presence, specifically her clothing. In each of these photos, her clothes vary in texture, color, and pattern depending on the occasion. Each of which involves different activities. Making such an observation encouraged me to explore the relationship between clothing and movement using the style that I am most familiar with, minimalist art. More specifically, line art and single line art. Picasso introduced single-line art in his drawings during the early twentieth century. His pieces use a simple yet powerful fluid line to depict a complex image. In the same way, I wanted to break the image down into simple lines to display the strong presence and sense of fashion that my grandmother has.

I began my art process by selecting reference photos of my grandma that best display movement. I try to capture the original feel of the images by tracing them using the least amount of lines possible.  Lastly, I etch and print the traced images before adding watercolor to the composition. The fluid properties and characteristics of watercolor allow me to explore movement even further in my work. When applying it to paper, watercolor moves unpredictably. However, when manipulated, it flows in a specific direction and dries at a faster pace. Nonetheless, its transient quality allows me to display movement in my artwork.

My work explores themes of movement, growth, and change. I use lines to depict clothing and posture to create motion, shapes in the background and foreground to create space, and colors in shapes and figures to create contrast in each piece.