Most of the work submitted was created in Mexico by experimenting with printing crude found objects into two groups, Las Dos Hermanas and Los Ultimos Pescados. Oil painting is a new medium and I have been working on creating forms that tell a story.
Alisa Cromer was born in Washington, D.C. and lived in San Jose California for 10 years. She started making art in her 20’s as the owner of a weekly newspaper, as an escape from words and the requirements of normalcy as a business professional and a way to embrace the intrusions of the abnormal apparent around her.
While moving to different cities as a journalist, publisher and COO, she began making art with other artists and learning from them in a variety of seemingly unrelated encounters:
In Orlando, Florida in the 1990’s, she painted 50 or so human figures with a knife, under the guidance of Carl Knickerbacker, who creates large brightly colored paintings he calls “Suburban Pop.” (A not-very good fictional movie she made based on his concepts, “The Painting Lesson,” is still played there on occasion as a cultish object).
In a Seattle coffee shop, a working local artist took her notebook away (“allow me?”), spilled coffee on a handwritten page, and used pen, white out, ink, to create an image. Cromer learned that no matter how small a space or on the run she is at the time, art can be made; the notebook series she created often used the back side of the paper where surprising images had leaked through and could be enhanced. Writing showed through or was added to these images.
In San Jose, in 2001, Cromer fell in love with a large abstract work on paper in the studio of Maragaret Wherry. The image was created by drawing moving dancers in a live-model class. Cromer attended the same class, and ultimately bought the drawing, which still hangs in her living room.
Fellow hiker and full-time artist Karen Ehlers showed her how to make prints, taking advantage of accidental distortions and contemporary-looking possibilities.
Works from all these “eras” found their way into the art parties and in the homes of people in San Jose. Cromer’s first sale was one of the acrylic and knife paintings, “The Girls,” three life size nudes with attitude, which hung in the bathroom of the original art party, creating a small mob.