On Sept. 10-11 and 17-18, Andy Cunningham, middle- and high-school drawing teacher. and Julie Didion, high-school ceramics teacher, participated in the annual Sac Open Studios Tours, a free, self-guided tour of local artists’ studios.
Cunningham said that he calls himself a “non-objective abstractionist,” who is influenced by Northern California.
“It’s strange looking back at these pieces and putting words to them,” Cunningham said.
“Sometimes I feel scientific, investigating, experimenting, learning from my errors. And other times I feel like a hiker on a trail in search of a hike, a vista, some exercise and fresh air, stumbling with my head down, plodding on down paths that may or may not lead to some beautiful spot.
“Both journeys are equally valid and need each other to exist – part scientist, part whimsical wanderer.”
On Sept. 18, seniors Kevin Huang and Jesus Galindo visited Cunningham’s studio (4094 C St.). All photos were taken by Huang.
A diptych (a painting on two hinged wooden panels) that Cunningham made about 10 years ago. Cunningham said this piece dealt with geometric constructions that move space by overlapping forms and using transparent and opaque colors.
Cunningham said his loops are "an investigation in geometric forms."
Galindo and Cunningham survey Cunningham's most recent finished works. Cunningham said he added loops of color to create an intriguing composition.
In this 2006 painting, Cunningham said he tried to edit out the recognizable objects he had initially created. But some, like flowers and his nephew's gravestone, can still be seen floating across the canvas. "I was working with building structures that played with perspective and pushed and pulled space via line and transparency," he said.
He made four of these large round paintings, but the other three are in Connecticut, Cunningham said.
A wall showcases some of Cunningham's art. The black painting is unfinished, according to Cunningham. "It has many great qualities I appreciate," he said. "But it feels unfinished and may come along as being more a part of the ongoing series of drip paintings." The painting to the right was part of Cunningham's three-ringed loop series, dealing with color, form, repetition, and composition.
More from Cunningham's three-ringed loop series.
In "Famous Drunks," a series of paintings that resemble faces, Cunningham said he focused on controlling his paint drips. "I'm not sure if those are people or events yet," Cunningham said, "because they are very new paintings."
Cunningham started this series of 10-inch round paintings one or two years ago. "These became a place for me to investigate shapes, processes and techniques without the worry of a finished piece," hesaid. "Its preset amorphic quality allowed me to bounce around and not feel tied down to any finished quality that can sometimes get in the way of progress." He said he has a goal of 100.
A few years ago, Cunningham said, he made these larger piece, as a part of a series focused on truncated loops, to practice creating larger round objects.
Some of Cunningham's supplies, which he used to create his pieces. "I have a lot of them and should probably keep better track of them," he said. "But I work in a way where the mess helps with my spontaneous choices."