"Painting feels as natural to me as breathing. By allowing the light to determine the composition, the sense of space can be ethereal, airy, and soft. Even though I use a simplistic subject matter and color palette, the ideas and spaces are complex and deep.”
Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Andrea received formal art training at LSU, Kansas City Art Institute, the University of Texas at Austin and the SACI program in Florence, Italy. After a 20 year career in artist materials, she continues the exploration of materials through her experimental and abstract work in mixed media. Home is in Austin, Texas, the one place that nurtures her holistic and universal approach to making art.
Texas painter, Andrea Pramuk, creates organic, drawing-based abstractions. Her pictures may seem familiar at first glance, but on closer inspection, they are not things or places that exist, but rather lyrical subjects whose dialogue originates out of line, color and light. She looks to earthly things that are constant throughout time, reminiscent of stone, sea, sky and botanical forms – all traditional painting subjects.
Andrea uses acrylic paint and dye-based pigments within a system that includes a carefully mixed color palette, paint pouring and drawing techniques, working both flat and at the easel. She arrived at this current method of working due to physical limitations with manual dexterity and also for technical reasons like drying times and limited time constraints. Pouring paint for Andrea is like building sediment layers in stone, creating wave patterns in sand and bringing about tree rings born out of drying paint puddles shrinking one ring at a time. Her process and subject matter, therefore, are both temporal and symbiotic. Poetry comes into play with her choice of titles, often borrowed from music lyrics, poetry or books, while also folding in themes from current events.
First, Andrea is influenced by her artist father, Louisiana painter and Professor Emeritus, Edward Pramuk, who has both a long history as an abstract painter and a teacher at LSU for over 35 years. She was born and raised in and around art from the very beginning, shuffling back and forth between New York City and Baton Rouge.
Next, she looks to artists like Pat Steir and Alice Baber for their looseness with pouring paint and use of color. They are also able to achieve a natural feel to their work that resembles the environment or botanical forms without literally being so, a technique Andrea also employs. She also responds to the sensitivity found in the work of Georgia O’Keefe because it is not an effeminate sensitivity, but feminine in ways that differ from a male artist’s perspective. It is the feminine strength, will and artistic intention that stems from an inner honesty and understanding of ego embodied in O’Keefe’s work that Andrea finds compelling.
And last, for storytelling and metaphor, Remedios Varo, one of the only women in history to be labeled a surrealist painter, has had an influence on Andrea for many years. As Octavio Paz said about Varo, “she does not paint time, but the moments when time is resting” and then goes on to say that her paintings are “like a sea voyage within precious stone”.
Andrea describes her pictures as both intimate and expansive, chronicling the passage of time. Things on her mind today include the balancing act between the terms of formal abstraction and the issues related to the fragility of human life and the planet we inhabit.