Isabelle Tuveson is a printmaker and painter who currently lives and works in her hometown of Batesville, Indiana. Her artistic practice consists of relief printing, watercolor painting, and carving into layered acrylic paint, a style of relief carving she has recently adopted into her work. Isabelle’s artwork has been inspired by her love for her family and nature, and it depicts flowering and nonflowering plant motifs as a means of representing people, places, and familial traditions in a unique and unconventional manner. Isabelle studies visual arts and biology at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and intends to graduate in May of 2021.
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My artwork is greatly influenced by the important roles that both family and the natural world have played in my life. After spending a large portion of my childhood and young adulthood outdoors and with my relatives, plants have developed into symbols of particular places and events, holding both personal and familial value in the moments that these florae represent. In my work, I connect nature and family through the use of plant motifs to symbolize the traditions and locations that best represent my relationship with my relatives and have most strongly tied my family together.
I was drawn to the art of printmaking because of the challenge it presented, with each carved mark being an unalterable addition to the final art piece. I have always enjoyed the act of carving, so the idea of creating a piece of artwork based solely around the carving itself greatly intrigued me. Over the past year, I have become very inspired by the artists Karin Waskiewicz, Hannah Jensen, and David Allan Peters, who have each worked with a similar concept and have each come to the same solution of carving into acrylic paint. For this artwork, I have adopted this unique carving medium into my own artistic practice, with the carving adding its own story to my work, representing the lasting mark that nature and family have had on my life and the way I create my art.
A gentian blue paint fills the wooden board, bringing out the white carvings of the acrylic paint. The delicate engraving of the floral arrangements is juxtaposed against solid white objects, creating an arrangement of three individual compositions. Within each composition, there are specific floral species, engraved with careful detail. The engravings of the plants and flora create organic forms. Each set of three is unique and intentional, with some of the florae creeping into the space of the other compositions, suggesting an overlap in those moments. Just as different species of florae live in an intricate ecosystem, Tuveson’s different traditions and values live in her memories of being in nature.
Plants are a symbol of life. To Tuveson, these plant motifs are more than just that—they hold personal and familial value. Tuveson manifests her memories of her family into a beautiful and elegant blue floral arrangement. The individuality of each florae reflects a specific familial memory of her childhood and young adulthood. The intentionality of the unalterable carvings reflects the unchangeable memories of her past. In these works, she combines her passion in printmaking and painting, through a unique method of carving into acrylic paint, to reflect the deep-rooted impact that both nature and her family has had on her life and her work.