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Looking at Painting
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Kentucky Educational Television
Ivan Schieferdecker

Ivan Schieferdecker Artist’s Statement

The series On Sugar Creek was started in 1995. Most of the early works are monotypes on paper; most of the later works are paintings. They are all abstract visual expressions inspired by a geographic area, located near the town of Fort Madison in Iowa, where I was raised.

The images in the On Sugar Creek series are attempts to describe, through memories and imagination, the essence of a water area and to express the variety of its personalities when influenced by changing atmospheric conditions and times of day. Each composition is a specific relationship of personal visual symbols and formal elements. The evolution of shapes, symbols, marks, colors, and textures was unpredictable; but starting in 1999, there is an increased visual impact due to the tactile qualities of impasto oil paint.

I work in stages, with three or four works in progress at a time. Part of the visual concept is emotionally charged, and many works sit in a “rough draft” condition until time allows for a more formal or objective analysis. The areas near the edges of the canvas hint at motion, like peripheral visions that help define the depth of field. I would like the viewer to feel that the image is only part of the vision or moment on Sugar Creek and yet know that it is a symbolic image rather than documentary.

Ivan Schieferdecker, 2001


Ivan Schieferdecker was born in Keokuk, Iowa in 1935. He received a BFA degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1961 and an MFA degree in printmaking from the University of Iowa, Iowa City in 1964. A professor emeritus of art at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, he retired in 2000 after teaching there for 36 years. He also has been a visiting artist at Brookhaven College in Dallas, Blackhawk Mountain School of Art in Colorado, Denison University, and Colorado College.

Ivan’s work has been accepted in numerous national and regional exhibitions and has been included in invitational shows sponsored by the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, the Louisville Visual Art Association, the Owensboro Museum of Art, the Kentucky Arts Commission, the Fay Gold Gallery in Atlanta, and Van Straaten Gallery in Chicago. He has had more than 20 solo exhibitions, including recent shows at Wilmington College in Ohio, Swanson Cralle East Market in Louisville, and Finer Things Gallery in Nashville. His work can be found in many collections, including those of Austin Peay University, Berea College, the Montgomery Art Museum, Ohio University, and the Springfield Art Museum in Missouri.

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In Our Gallery ...

(Painting details shown below.
Click on the thumbnail or the
title to see the full work.)

On Sugar Creek #89
On Sugar Creek #89

On Sugar Creek #115
On Sugar Creek #115

S.C. Spring Pool #2
S.C. Spring Pool #2

On Sugar Creek #91
On Sugar Creek #91

S.C. Red Turn
S.C. Red Turn

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