'Eye of the Beholder' encourages viewers to find their own meaning
You can learn a thing or two about artist Carol Pulvermacher through her latest show at the Spiral Gallery.
Pulvermacher describes "Eye of the Beholder," which will hang through the end of the month, as "a chapter in (her) book."
"It's the place where I'm at right now," she said. "It shows a good intersection of everything I do."
For many years, Pulvermacher worked with wood burning exclusively, but she also recently discovered abstract painting and incorporated that into her style. Accordingly, "Eye of the Beholder" features both mediums.
"For so long I identified as a wildlife woodburning artist, and when I discovered abstract painting it opened up a whole new world for me," she said. "It was mixing the traditional with new, abstract concepts."
Many of Pulvermacher's pieces combine the two art forms and feature animals and nature, a significant source of inspiration. Additionally, many of the larger pieces are accompanied by corresponding haiku poems she wrote.
Pulvermacher's career was reinvigorated when she discovered abstract painting while watching a film about the life of painter Jackson Pollock. It was a turning point for her.
"There was no going back after that," she said, describing her fondness of the medium. "(Pollock's story) was very dark, but his paintings were a release for him. I thought I could speak through the same process. It was a new voice for me."
Abstract painting quickly became one of Pulvermacher's favorite mediums because it expanded her artistic horizons.
"Adding the painting allowed me to grow, expand and merge," she said. "It really opened me up as an artist."
Pulvermacher noted that someone told her the show has "a living room feel."
"There are pieces hanging (on the walls) with decorated furniture below," she said. "It feels like you could be in a home."
Though many elements of the show are reflective of Pulvermacher's artistic life, she encourages viewers to take their own meaning from it.
"(It's called) 'Eye of the Beholder' because it's about whatever you see," she said. "Whatever you see in it is right for you. I don't want to tell people what to see."
A resident of West Linn, Pulvermacher learned about the Spiral Gallery from her neighbors who grew up in Estacada. She's been a member for five years and enjoys the close-knit and positive community.
"They allow me to show my work and accept what I do," she said. "Everybody is always behind you and has nice things to say."
Painting and Poetry
Pulvermacher wrote a series of haiku poems to complement some of the larger pieces in her show "Eye of the Beholder." Below is the poem for her piece "In the Beginning."
joyful as paint falls
to the canvas on the ground
walking round and round