Jeanne Drevas Bio./Statement

New year, new beginnings, new longing to embed myself in my new home in Oregon, I was dancing around my studio, after hours, pondering a new direction, a new medium I might explore for a show at Guardino Gallery, an urban location so different from my old gallery contacts in rural Virginia. 


I have a long history of gleaning materials around me and seeing what their DNA has to offer to my DNA.  This analogy makes more sense when one is collecting bark off of trees, which was my last thorough delving into the possibilities of a material that fascinated me, but skate boards came to mind that night along with a few other ideas I hope to explore in the future.  Skate boards weresomething I'd mostly seen at a distance, as they zoomed along under boys (mostly). But I'd seen enough close up to be fascinated by the distressed graphics on the undersides of the decks, the sides that get marred by all the attempts at curbs, stairs, railings and who knows what.


And the seven ply maple plywood, some of the plys colored offered another beauty and after all, the decks are wood, a material warm and easy enough to manipulate.  As I finally amassed enough decks to begin, first thing was googling how to get the heavy duty sand paper grips off and then the arduous task of removing various adhesives from the deck.   Finally my new material was ready to explore.  I am very drawn to the vessel form and that was the first, and most difficult objects I made, all those curves of the decks difficult to sand edges together.  I learned to use the curves to my advantage. 


New tools appeared in my studio the best being a small belt sander and thinner band saw blades for sharp curves.


But I longed for a more processed driven way of working and that's when the Miro like blobs appeared, make one shape, and then find another shape and color that works, and then the next shape.  My past work has, by design, had to be thought out pretty thoroughly before I even begin and this freedom to respond and respond was freeing, what I am still aiming for.


I know, why not just paint a piece of flat plywood and cut it up.  Maybe I will do that, but that does not have the feel of the immediacy of distressed decks and where they came from, the streets of any town or city.   I'm honoring the history of California surfers who devised the first boards, for not every day brings good waves and they found a new way to surf the streets and emptied swimming pools.  And all those kids who didn't know they were creating material for my new exploration.