Art and the City
Thu, 01/07/2016 - 10:42am
Artist Profile: Kim Bursic
The landscapes appear “abstract,” but there is a physical presence. It’s like a residual of seeing, combined with the echoes of words that once gave definition to a place or time. It’s a picture of memories that are lost in detail but still live and are kept safe in a mental cove – the place where memories thin down to make room for others.
Kim Bursic allows the eye to see those memories restored to “now.” Each work can be a “portrait of a location suspended in a moment of great change.” In “Passing Showers” clouds shift in the atmosphere like thoughts that come to be seen and pose for the artist. “Portrait of a Cloud,” inspired by Voyager’s trip through the solar system, could be a Da Vinci design for the heavens.
Houses show up a lot in Kim’s work – life seeks shelter. In “Song of the House” clusters of thoughts, giant red balloons, generated by the mother of two small children hover in the sky above and vie for immediacy, a virtual portrait of motherhood.
In others, rain escapes the sky, and stars can drip and become drops. Water moves beneath its deep, apparent stillness. References are obscured, then gone, and you drift. “Sometimes it’s okay being lost. Sometimes not.”
Kimberly Bursic has a BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and an MFA from Washington State University. Both degrees are in printmaking, and she spent several years as a professional etching printer. As a painter Kim has left the world of black and white, but paints as a printer, layering one subtle color over another, exploring each new tint and tone.
The driving force of her work is “diligence,” the dedication to painting, her idea of forever reaching for a level of maturity that goes beyond seeing to smelling, hearing, and tasting the residuals of life, and the echoes of words.
Jim Magner’s Thoughts on Art
You don’t think of diligence as subject matter. It’s not something that you can look at and try to paint. It’s not on the color wheel and it is not a technique or a “signature style.” But it is something. It is not just being meticulous or careful or even watchful. And it goes beyond persistence. Sure, you need those things in almost any job, and certainly as a parent. And sure, you need those things for creativity, but there is still more: a mysterious need to understand an abstract idea or an undefined quality and then follow it to a realization: a picture, or a melody, a poem, a novel, or a dance.
Not everyone has that quality of diligence. If you just copy what someone else has painted or repeat someone else’s words instead of finding that little nugget of newness, or the identity of a sensation by searching for it, then you simply produce without creating.
Actually, I didn’t really think of it that way until I talked about art with Kim Bursic. She said her whole approach to painting is one of diligence, hard work, but more than content, style, or technique. It’s like looking at the inside of a message. Finding the certainty of it. Struggling to understand it.
Still, diligence itself is an idea that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Is it plodding? What about sudden insights or the explosions of notions and possibilities worth taking a detour? I’ve always felt that creativity doesn’t work by the clock. It’s something that can clobber you when least expected. But maybe diligence is always there. Perhaps it’s something the mind isn’t even aware of. Always searching for an insight.