Virginia Wieringa Artist's Statement

In my journey through the world of art, teaching art to children and adults was my main focus for many years and showing them how to produce art. Because my teaching covered many subjects and media, my personal art work has also followed a varied path. My work encompasses painting, drawing, papermaking, printmaking and collage- sometimes all at the same time! Whether painting landscapes or working in pure abstraction with color, line and shape; I strive to communicate the joy I find in the visual. In mixed media I often use imagery related to universal experiences of the human condition and spiritual growth. There are often nuances of meaning but the explanation of abstract work like this is left up to the observer. In still life and landscape, my work reflects the wonder I have found in the natural world. My goal is to captivate the eye and bring attention to the marvels of creation, both large and small. My latest art journey is using tissue paper coated with acrylic paint to include in my mixed media collage work.

My pieces often reflect the mysteries I perceive in the world. I’m inspired by things I read and hear as well as things I see. One quote that inspired a series is by Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet:

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves... Don't search for answers now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

As a Christian, I marvel at the salvation story, wonder about the way things are and about the way our lives are tied together across time and space. The figures in my work could be communities of faith, a cloud of witnesses, disciples or just people. The Celtic knots, puzzle pieces and labyrinths are my way of contemplating the twists and turns in life and the surprising way things fit together. When I’m working with the layers in acrylics, mixed media, icons or Photoshop I feel like I’m ‘living the questions’.

For many years I taught art, first to elementary students and then college students. During that time, I studied painting and drawing and experimented with many media and subjects. Since I retired from teaching, I’ve been blessed to be able to devote more time to this creative, contemplative journey and develop my own artistic voice. I see my work is a visual response to faith, the mysteries of life and the world God created.

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