Camille Warmington – Glassel School of Arts

For me, making art is an active practice of observation, discovery, thought, emotion and expression. My work is informed by my life experiences, family, and the passage of time. My exploration usually begins with specific references – a photograph, memory, emotion, or experience. Open the Door and its mission is parallel to where I am in my own life. At a turning point both personally and artistically.

I have lived most of my life in Texas and of all titles, consider mother of three to be the most important. For 26 years I was also a wife. That is no longer the case. This past year I found myself at a new threshold; being a single person at 51 years of age. After wallowing through the 5 stages of grief (thankfully with charcoal and large sheets of Stonehenge paper), I made a conscious decision to revamp/recreate/recycle myself which turns out to be the most extraordinary gift that my former spouse could have given me. I have embraced the idea of getting busy living the rest of my life as wholeheartedly as possible.

Woven throughout my life has been the act of creating. Whether it was furniture design/construction in college, interior spaces in New York and Dallas, or graphic design and painting in Houston, I have always felt most comfortable with pen, pencil, or paint in hand. While raising my three children, I began studying painting in earnest at the MFAH’s Glassell School in the mid 1990’s. I have worked primarily in oil on canvas or board. Running parallel to my recent life transition, I have begun exploring collage; specifically based on incorporating family photographs that speak to me and my heritage.

In my submission, Seeing Past the Storm of Mourning, you see collaged photographs of my grandmother as a child in the 1920’s is a door into the part of her life that I was less familiar with. I only knew her as an adult and observed (and imagined) how the years/layers of her life affected her. It is a source of emotion and gives me a departure point that I can then translate into form, color and mark making. From my memories, I sense a pervasive feeling of regret that she had in her life. Looking at this photo, I think about her childhood before the layers of living/regret covered the childlike joy that is innate in young people.

Through my own life transitions, I also have regrets. Those regrets have become powerful tools in my creative process as well as my personal life. The regrets/walls that I face, no longer make me shrink away with a sense fear. They push me forward. I am ready for exploring new places, using new mediums for my work, learn as much as I can, living wholeheartedly, opening new doors.