Degrees of Change So Small, 2021
Oil on canvas
24 x 24 in
'Degrees of Change So Small' is an oil painting by the American artist Deirdre Schanen. Schanen's works weave between non-objective abstraction and representative landscape painting. This example falls into the latter of these categories, displaying a color-field landscape with subtly painted sky, land and horizon. Despite this, the landscape remains ambiguous trough the artist's painterly approach to the canvas's surface. Ths is likely due to the artist's working process, as, like Michelangelo did with blocks of stone, she allows the painting to construct itself as she paints without any plans or intentional direction. Due to the formal qualities that Schanen's eye captures on the canvas, her work recalls the paintings of the color-field artists of the New York School like Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, and Helen Frankenthaler. Schanen studied at the Art Students League of New York and earned her Masters of Art, William Paterson University. Schanen says of her work: "My paintings reflect my childhood on the shores of Lake Michigan. They explore the tension of the lake’s serene vastness with the complex confusion of the rocks and detritus washed up upon its shores. My art reflects my world filtered through my heart. I do not plan my art but, rather, develop it as I work. Something in me knows where I’m going. Painting for me is a state of being. I paint what I am. I begin with pencil or ink markings and paint drips. I continue to add layer after layer of glaze, paint and markings. The underpainting is as important to me as the final layer of paint. I perform a dance with my canvas through these spontaneous interactions. I never know where it will lead me or when my dance will be finished." Oil on canvas 24 x 24 inches Signed "D. Schanen" lower right. Signed, titled and dated on reverse of canvas, upper left. Presented in a strip-line wood moulding.