My Keeper’s Garden
STEPHANIE KOSSMANN | Geographer + Artist
This series explores dementia and perception. The images express the fragility of the physical brain and the power of emotion.
“My Keeper’s Garden” and “My Keeper’s Treasure”
I met the artistic love of my life–Monotype Printmaking. We understand each other as mature couples do. Our mutual discovery is appreciative, intense, and flowing. I combine printmaking and oil painting techniques–but rarely use paint brushes. I work wet-into-wet in order to capture the immediacy of experience and mindful living. I judiciously combine etching ink (sticky like hot marshmallow) and oil paint (greasy like buttery fingers) using brayers, pallet knives, rags, and found objects. The materials allow me create subtle, powerful, atmospheric images, and to express complex emotional themes.
“When Memories Age” and “Softly, Wildly”
There is an expectation placed on artists to articulate what they believe they can best achieve visually. I strive to keep my descriptions lean; to gently guide viewers with a title or a theme. My imagery is derived from my own experiences in anguish and healing, a background in physical landscape geography, and self-hypnosis. It emerges from an appreciation that arts and sciences are related through observation, analysis, and creative problem solving. My images are saturated with light, space, and presence. I paint abstract landscapes and emotional portraits that convey physical sensations, scents, and emotions.
“Delicacy and Disruption”
My current focus is abstract portraits that acknowledge trauma and facilitate healing after experiencing sexual violence and other physical and psychological abuse. I hope to meet my audience wherever they are in their journey. My images are an invitation to be restored, at your own pace and in your own manner, without the constraints of time, language, family, or societal expectations.
“Selective Memory” and “A Song for Tomorrow”
Geographer + Artist
I grew up in costal Massachusetts, and found my way to Northwestern Vermont after a 5-year assignment in Toronto, Canada, for a previous day job. I earned a Bachelor’s in (physical landscape) Geography from Boston University. My formal education included drawing, painting, and sculptural and functional pottery. I’m currently enrolled in a graduate certificate program in Positive Organizational Development at Champlain College.
My day job is important work and provides a good living wage, but it leaves me wanting for creative and intrinsically rewarding pursuits. I’m currently updating a home-based art studio; I won’t have to commute to find solace. I tend to over-schedule myself between day job, art making, the minutia of daily life, and managing the symptoms of Complex PTSD. I have a snugly kitty named Slinky. My husband and I enjoy raising backyard chickens and pigs, hiking, skiing, cooking and sharing great quality local food, and generally being outside.
Enjoy more of Stephanie’s work at stephaniekossmann.art