When I came across Trixie Pitts paintings and drawings I was immediately drawn to her energy, the marks she made on the canvas and paper, the vitality and sheer exuberance of her process, of making pictures. An expression of what was before her whether it was a landscape or a portrait.
It’s Pitts drawings that drew me in. Her pastel and graphite pictures surge, fizz, the colours jump, hop, skid and splurge across the paper, as if she can’t help but get excited when faced with an ice dancer, a beautiful landscape, a bird sitting on a tree, something, anything, the world in all its infinite glory, the little things, the big things, the geometric forms that collude and collide to build a forest of humanity.
That’s what Pitts is about. Expressing humanity. The pulsating life force that pounds away at us everyday, that is worthy of attention, is present. She’s present. These drawings are present. Everything about these pictures is present. This alone gives credence to the artists calling. To express what is here, now, to give it materiality, to seek its essence, to grab it, capture its sense in colour, line and form.
Like a child, honest, truthful and fast these drawings are a window into Pitts soul. They say more about her than words ever will. And perhaps that’s what every artist seeks to achieve. To find a way, a means to mark that expresses everything that cannot be said. Here’s what she has to say about her work,:
Although I did spend years learning how to draw what my eye sees and to mix paint to the colours I am looking for, although I followed a path of learning techniques, to me being an artist means striving for the state of not knowing. It means exploring, not knowing where I will end up. It is there that creativity happens and an authentic painting emerges. My paintings, to me are my advocates, my support system. They remind me that I am not invisible, that I am not hiding, that I am not living someone else’s idea of who I am. Having overcome severe childhood trauma, I was compelled to start drawing and painting. The process helps me to reconnect with my own self, to heal, to grow, to appreciate, to love and to feel loved and to create a visualization of what I can’t put into words.
It’s worth checking out Pitts landscape paintings if you have the time. Always good to compare drawings and sketches to the finished paintings.