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Art Deconstructed: ‘Antiquities’ showcases old textures

SAM OWENS | Gazette-Mail
Joyce Daniels stands by her painting, “Antiquities,” at Gallery Eleven, in Charleston.
SAM OWENS | Gazette-Mail
“Antiquities” by Joyce Daniels hangs in Gallery Eleven, in Charleston.

Sometimes, you look at a piece of art and fall in love. Other times, you look at it from 18 different angles, squint your eyes and scratch your head. Art, like wine, can be an acquired taste.

Art Deconstructed is here to help you do just that: better understand the nuances and techniques behind a single piece of art. A new regular Gazette-Mail feature, Art Deconstructed is designed to highlight interesting local artwork, and discover your own taste in art. We begin with a piece on display now at Gallery Eleven.

By Anna Taylor

Staff writer

Joyce Daniels doesn’t have anything in mind at the start of a new painting.

“My interest in creating art is to express myself in color and texture,” she said.

Most of the time, a concept for her art doesn’t come together until Daniels is in the middle of creating it. When she’s finished, she names the piece based on how she feels about it and what she thinks it represents.

She wants observers to make their own conclusions about her work. If they like it, great. They don’t have to like it, though, because, like everyone else, Daniels said she doesn’t like every piece of art she sees.

When she starts working on something new, she’ll look for a way to add texture, giving her pieces a three-dimensional effect. Sometimes for texture, Daniels first creates a collage from paper she has lying around.

For her piece “Antiquities,” she used molding paste, which she compared to a smooth plaster in consistency. The paste was used to create circles that are raised areas among the dried paint. The circles can only be seen up close and in person. She used different media to add texture to the piece, consisting of molding paste, gel, acrylic paint, etched brass and mica flakes.

The name “Antiquities” came from the fact that there were many layers — around 10 in total, she guessed — of paint alone.

“To me, the concept was ... it’s just representing some very old things, antiques, what you might find in an attic or antique shop or church,” she said.

Once the textures were down, she added color — so she isn’t adding color to a blank canvas, she’s adding it to a three-dimensional space. And she doesn’t stop until everything pleases her.

“This painting was several different colors before I finished it,” she said. “At one time, it had a lot of blue in it and I covered that up with red.”

At first glance, observers may notice a metallic-gold cross shape outlined in blue paint. The cross shape, she said, is one of the basic styles of composition that draws people’s eyes.

“Because I was actually able to see something of a cross there, I thought to just highlight that and make it into a cross,” she said. “That’s a basic composition that people will be drawn to.”

Mica flakes are sprinkled across the gold cross, and there are splatters of paint as well as a few drips. Those are intentional. Looking closer at the piece, you’ll see small swirls she made using rubbers stamps and a crosshatch design made from a plastic piece she found at a craft store.

“All the layers give it a lot of depth,” she said.

Because her pieces are her way of expressing herself, rather than creating or recreating a concept, the style of art is expressionism.

“It’s not like painters who paint from a photograph and try to recreate or to, in some way, create a vision of a particular subject,” she said.

Daniels’ art is on display and for sale at Gallery Eleven, located at 1025 Quarrier St., in Charleston. The gallery also will participate in the Downtown Charleston ArtWalk season which begins in March.

Reach Anna Taylor at 304-348-4881,

anna.taylor@wvgazettemail.com or follow @byannataylor on Twitter.

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