An exhibition of mixed-media paintings drawn from nature by Woodstock-based artist Mariella Bisson will go on view Saturday in the Olean Public Library (134 N. Second St., Olean). Bisson, who was born in Vermont and began her obsession with painting by browsing through prints in her local library, has long been churning out geometric collages that seem to borrow in equal parts from the likes of Charles Burchfield and Jackson Pollock.
“I don’t think I would make my work in the way that I did it if weren’t for Jackson Pollock, who had that freedom of attack,” she said in a short video documentary on her website. “You look at the empty surface in front of you and you throw everything you’ve got right at it. He just blasted open a courageous way of working.”
Her own method, though, differs greatly from Pollock’s. “Painting materials, gauche, acrylics, all form of drawing materials, pencils, charcoal pencils, wax pencils, litho-crayons, powdered charcoal, charcoal in all of its various forms: There’s a lot of various media that end up on this paper before the surface is really finished,” she said. “A piece can take a year from start to finish with multiple visits to the location and various variations on a theme.”
The exhibition opens with a reception at 2 p.m. Saturday, followed by an artist talk at 3 p.m., and runs through Sept. 7. Call 372-0200 or visit www.oleanlibrary.org/arts.
– Colin Dabkowski