Visual Work by Betsy McCall

The dedication and rigorous rhythms required by the two disciplines of studio practice and contemplative practice inspire my work, which explores repetition and the breath as a space of transformation. Informed by my daily practice of breath-focused meditation, my process is to sit with the paintbrush in hand, poised over the paper, and let my breath initiate the movement. The mark-making then moves back and forth between the building of a controlled system of many tiny brushstrokes and uncontrolled events like pouring of pigment, spilling, smudging, and other less controlled forms of mark making. This process activates recurrence and illuminates pattern, the brushstrokes building a system that folds back in on itself. The system turns itself inside out, crossing over, feeding back, renewing. Practice is a commitment, repeated and prolonged, a disciplined and sustained effort that yields perspectives that are undiscoverable any other way. Regardless of the stated goal, practice itself reshapes the practitioner over time, whether gradually or through bursts of inspiration and insight. Whether with a pencil or paint, these works on paper explore the interaction between a structure set up by an evolving, repeating system and the unpredictable chaos of the spill, smudge, or breath-initiated brushstroke. By engaging the repetitive rhythms of practice, my work also aims to reshape my life as an Artmonk. --Betsy McCall

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