Cliff Yudell

"Mall Of The Mountains"

"Mall Of The Mountains"

I came up as a writer and magazine editor, which may explain why much of my work has narrative qualities. Since I lean toward abstraction, the stories aren’t always obvious. But people start interpreting them right away, and during the course of painting –
never before starting – identifiable “meanings” come to mind. I try to go with them as they arrive. It’s the same as with writing. Emerging characters, settings and themes tell you what they want to be. Best to listen and get out of the way. One of my favorite quotes may have something to do with this (I don’t know who said it): “The human mind has little choice but to assign meaning to form.” No matter what we’re looking at -- the most abstract of art; an experimental ballet; the shape of a cloud -- we have an innate need to interpret, to relate it to the familiarities of this world and our individual life experiences.

I am primarily self-taught although I studied watercolors for a short time at the South Florida Art Center, Miami Beach, and oils at Riverview Station, Asheville, N.C.  In Miami, I exhibited in group shows at the Broward County Florida Artists Guild; AIM Gallery and Kronos Gallery.

Here in Asheville I am inspired by meditation, the beauty of the mountains and the extremely talented local arts community. My work is represented by Aesthetic Gallery, downtown Asheville. I have also shown during the annual Kenilworth Studio Tour and at a group show in the River Arts District.

I remain fascinated by the movement of light (color) upon the canvas -- blending, bending and cracking it as it flows into specific or amorphous shapes. And it’s always great fun to make collages and assemblages. Cutting, pasting, arranging objects and peeling glue off my fingers makes me feel like a kid again. Since I am in my mid-60’s, that is not a bad thing.