Artist Statement

“Surrealism, odd figuration, modern design, influences of outsider art, all elements of the Chicago school influence, my art today”

My first major series, Ravaged Face, was in response to the death of my beloved grandmother and mother, within one year. These beautiful and beloved women retained their grace and strength even while dealing with pain and dying. My Ravaged Face Series addresses this contradiction, revealing joy and desolation through pattern, line, color and texture in oil and mixed media.

My Vulnerable Series deals with the contradiction of fragility and strength in the young and the old, male and female. Many of my “people” are portraits of students. I especially enjoyed working with special needs adolescents for whom art was uplifting and life saving. I tried to capture their sweet trusting vulnerabilities. Many are created using a printing press in a monotype process with mixed media: pastel, watercolor, collage, colored pencil and inks. All of my work is one of a kind and often framed by master carpenter Tom Brooks.

My work is often surreal*, contemporary and shows odd figuration and influences of outsider art. Outsider art is work done by those living outside the mainstream of society. They may live in extreme poverty, rural isolation or have mental issues.

“I do PEOPLE who can become mirrors to the folks that see my art.”
Their work is often obsessive, powerful, personal, getting inside the soul, making profound, often scary, but real statements about what it is to be human. I believe that is what my art is about. The Chicago School or the Hairy Who’s also work in a funky, surreal, figural manner and have been major influences on my art.

Judy Bruce

“Surrealism is dreamlike, or strange creatures from everyday objects or using painting techniques that allow the unconscious to express itself.”Barnes in 20th Century Art