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A little introduction

 Jodi Lurie Schulz

I am a native of Montana and a citizen of the world. My childhood was nomadic, traveling around the globe and living in places like Madagascar and Ecuador. I gained a trove of rich memories and experiences that have influenced my life, philosophy, and art. Although I have created art throughout my life, I have always kept my creative passion on the back burner because of self-imposed limiting beliefs, instead choosing to teach art at the high school level.

Now that I am leveling up in age and wisdom, I have decided to embrace risk and pursue my art more fully. I hold a bachelor of arts in art education and a master of fine arts in figurative painting. Teaching in public schools for twenty-three years has given me the experience to work in just about any media, so the goal now is to realize my dreams and share my creative vision. Artmaking is one of many passions.

I am also an adventurer and explorer. I love to ride things with two wheels and four legs and hike through wide open spaces. Rescued furballs are my homies, and they keep me sane. 

Artist Statement

Being solitary and somewhat introverted, I often use my art to express things I cannot easily put into words. My work always has meaning, with almost every element in the art embodying symbolism. My current mixed media work is abstract and figurative, with a sense of archaism in each piece. My inspiration comes primarily from the compelling sense that I am part of something much more complex than I can put into words. The best analogy I have found to explain this awareness came from the Indian mystic Osho, who compared existence to the ocean. Waves represent individual transient beings that ebb and flow on the time continuum, and life is collectively an indivisible and infinite ocean. Osho's analogy explains the recurring synchronicity that I witness daily. I find myself trying to understand the connections we share with one another, the environment, and the universe. 

Lately, abstract figures have taken over my surfaces. I feel the weight of humanity as it struggles with current events and Mother Nature as she struggles with us. The empath in me needs to express the despair I feel around me. The humorist in me likes to create the occasional lighthearted piece to remind me of what life should really be about. 

My current work begins with a general sense of what I want to express. The act of playing takes over, and I allow the first several layers to be influenced primarily by my subconscious. Music is a part of the process to keep my conscious mind diverted. The surfaces are actively distressed with scratches, scrapes, and sanding. The repetition of building up and breaking down the painting surface denotes the ebb and flow of life. 

The layers are sealed with transparent mediums and often muted with translucent glazes to add depth and richness after each iteration. Eventually, shapes and forms emerge through painting over the layers, often representing things connected to my experiences and the emotional state that wells up in remembering. My substrate is currently wood, and I use collage materials, drawing media, and acrylic paint to build many layers. I finish by applying cold wax or acrylic varnish to give the surface a luxurious sheen.

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