Ann McAlpine




Artist Statement


            I love the human figure.  Over the past few years at Centre, I have grown more and more attracted to this beautiful, living piece of art.  I have realized how amazing it is while playing sports here at Centre, attending life drawing sessions, and visiting museums for my humanities and art classes.  Not only do I think of the human body as a piece of artwork, I also am amazed by its abilities and functions.  I am fascinated by the way in which it moves, the way it is built to perform, and the beautiful lines and forms it can create in its flexibility.  I have found it to create striking and sometimes obscure shapes.

            This spring I wanted to focus on celebrating these mysterious forms.  Knowing that the human figure is intriguing, would it be as captivating if it were displayed in a less-than-comprehensible way?  I wanted to focus on the body and slightly obscure it, still expressing how unique and alluring it is.  At first I wanted to radically crop parts of the figure to explore the beauty in the minor details.   As this idea developed, I moved away from this approach towards framing the figure in a sculptural pose.  I wanted to create a se nse of mystery because that is how I view the figure.  I feel as though it is more puzzling that we can imagine.

Some of my paintings are hard to understand.  Viewers may not know exactly what they are looking at.  Sometimes the parts of the figure are not easily determined.   Is that an arm or a leg?  Is that a figure bending away from us or towards us?  I like these questions not only because it provides wonder, but because it is different from a pretty or stereotypical nude. 

            I recently started working in a more painterly style.  Artists such as Gustav Klimt and Pablo Picasso have influenced me most.  I am attracted and influenced by the works of Klimt because I love the way in which he portrays his figures.  In the work “The Kiss”, two bodies can be seen as one because of their tight and somewhat awkward embrace.  The color and pattern also integrate these figures.  Klimt’s paintings are filled with shapes, swirls, and bold, thick paint that is captivating.  Pablo Picasso’s cubistic style provides mystery that invites the viewer to look further.  Picasso and Klimt’s decorative styles are very appealing to me visually.

            In my works, I used the common first step of griding and expanded upon it.  I would paint each square individually, which creates a distinctive lololok and texture.  I take parts of the figure and work square by square that eventually make a whole.  A griding technique implies reason, as to which I used to describe a puzzling figure.  A grid also implies pattern and imitates a puzzle, such as a jigsaw puzzle.  I used a logical technique to make an illogical image of a perfect figure, which creates tension.  This tension links the logical and illogical, creating beautiful and sometimes unrecognizable sculptural poses that make up an exquisite whole. 




Gustav Klimt
Chuck Close
Gustav Klimt
Man Ray 
  Pablo Picasso 
  Vincent Desiderio 



Figure Study, Charcoal



Figure Study, Oil



some low quality images of my work

oil on panel