Artist Alexis Franklin

My Art and Where It's Headed

            When it comes to my art, nature always finds its way in. I believe it revolves around my love for organic forms and how they can work together, creating interesting patterns. It’s also because of my love of nature and the animals within it. The work I have primarily been focusing on the past few years has been about the connections between patterns found in animals and plants, creating surreal animals and environments with them. Taking materials and forms from the natural world such as a hand, a leaf, animals, plants, which are symbolic and recognizable to people. I manipulate them to create a new object by either changing its form, perspective, color, and texture, giving the material within the new object and the form altogether a new purpose, meaning, and a new life.  I enjoy how my pieces at first glance are familiar, but at second glance viewers see the hidden materials and patterns formed. 

           Using the medium of watercolor, I blend and layer the paint to create the lights, darks, and color combinations. When creating these pieces, I spend a lot of time assessing the placement and direction of the materials within the form. It’s very much like a puzzle. I have kept the background blank in most of my pieces on purpose because I feel that on their own, they are very powerful sculptural forms. They add so much detail and I try to fit many colors in one place to add interest. Once I started this series of surreal animals, I felt as if I had found something in myself and what is in my future as an artist. This series has many characteristics, including seriousness and then some of my whimsical imagination. How my pieces question reality is what I enjoy and want to continue as a theme in my work. 

            Living in New England has had a huge influence on my artwork. I grew up in western Kansas until I was 14 and believe that that’s the reason why my imagination is so strong. It wasn’t the most exciting place to live, except when there were tornados, so I spent my time playing music and making art. There also wasn't a large variety of plants and animals due to the climate. Moving to Maine and being near the ocean, mountains, and woods introduced me to so many I had never seen before.  From what I have seen in these experiences are what have influenced me to take the forms and patterns and twist and manipulated them into something somewhat recognizable, but new. I want to continue studying different environments in nature and to be inspired by different forms.

           The direction my current work is going is creating large, detailed, surreal environments and creatures. I want to spend time creating more unworldly plants forms, like the coil pot and the colorful tree-like tendrils that can be seen in my portfolio section of the site. I want to find new ways to combine my love of illustration and bookmaking to create interesting paintings. What I see in my future is developing  different painting structures, paper sculptures, and installations. I want my paintings to feel as if the viewer has just entered this new world I have created, finding the hidden materials within it. I have begun to create large, hanging watercolor paintings layered like a tunnel book and want to continue thinking about changing the way a painting can be viewed. I also would love to work more on ceramics. I have had some ideas spark from my 3D pieces and I have found it  as a tool my 2D work.