My father was a toy designer and I was encouraged to indulge my imagination. I earned a BFA in sculpture from the Cleveland Institute of Art and an MFA from the University of Illinois. I have had many teachers. I have learned about clarity from the Buddhists, fierce joy from the Sufis, magical holiness from Christian Mystics and life energy from Taoist TaiChi. The main influence in my life and work, however, is my ongoing relationship with nature; with birds, animals, insects, clouds, stars, microbes and especially trees. I have spent most of my life carving wood and feel a strong kinship with trees.
I have enjoyed traveling in Europe, Africa and Asia and lived in Sweden for a year with my husband, Bjorn. In Florida we had a company called Andren & Knapp ( http://www.andoknap.com ) in which we designed and produced furniture and statues for churches. We also worked together on Public Art commissions. All the pictures on that site were taken by Bjorn Andren. He is a gifted photographer.
I have done installations at the Brevard Art Museum, Florida Museum for Women Artists, Florida Craftsmen Gallery in St Petersburg, the Morean Art Center and Mt Dora Center for the Arts and often include composed background sounds as part of the work. My work is in the permanent collection of the Miaoli Wood Sculpture Museum in Sanyi, Taiwan (where I was invited to have a show in 2007) and also in the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis TN. Lately I have been painting a little and composing poems to go with the work which I post on my blog.
These are some of my new paintings, a series called “Water Reflections”. I have been dedicated to sculpture most of my life and just needed to try something new. I love the way colors and shapes can create a whole new world with glittery lights and infinite depths. I am sure I will miss carving wood one day soon but for now I am a painter. I even have ideas for another new series of paintings so stay tuned for more.
– Candace Knapp
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My paintings have evolved from the observation of the environment, both natural and man-made.
I am also interested in fractals. Fractals are described as computer generated forms that interpret the geometry of nature. It is a system where forms in nature are defined in mathematical terms.
The forms of nature are repeated in the realms of earth, air, fire, water, and ether. This repetition extends from the micro to the macro levels. We can see that the branches of a tree are similar in form to a bolt lightning or that rings of Saturn resemble the rings of water in a puddle. Yet they exist separately in time, space, and scale. There exists and order of continuity throughout the different realms. There is also a balance between chaos and order the within this system. The stripes of the Zebra appear to be same yet no two Zebras have exactly the same pattern. All humans have similar finger prints yet each one is unique.
To describe my painting process, I take photos of things like construction debris, tropical foliage image, and microscopic patterns. I look for images that connect and complement or contrast. I make many collages and eventual something will make sense. Then I draw out the images on canvas and paint. Some of my paintings take months. I use oil paint on canvas and in my outdoor murals I use latex paint.
In my paintings, I am interested in showing the similarity and contrast between natural and man-made forms. I look for connections and relationships between forms and scenes. By realizing these concerns, recognition occurs both visual a physiological. This helps define for me a fractal like oneness as is found in Buddhist mandala paintings which is a source of inspiration for me. This focus has allowed me to devolve imagery that reflects on a range of issues from social and environmental concerns to mediations on the patterns and actions of nature. By showing a shifting of scenes in my work, events and forms merge while at the same time retain their own individual identity. The interactions between the scenes and images help define new relationships and meaning. I am seeking a balance between opposites such as order and chaos, large and small, or the physical and metaphysical. Working with this attitude reveals for me new interpretations and ways of seeing the world.
Art is more than the result; it is the process that makes it great. Somewhere between the original thought and the canvas, magic happens. To me, as an artist, this magic is nowhere more apparent then when I’m striving to capture the light, emotion, beauty and mystery found in the endlessly fascinating always individual and expressive human face.
This is a great adventure which can take me back in time to study historical themes, soaring on flights of imagination, or deep into the human condition. I am currently working with the playfulness of watercolors, the luminosity of pastels, and the immediacy of charcoal.
I’m finding art to be what will certainly be a life-long exploration where both I and my skills are always evolving, as magic unfolds.
I am honored to have portraits in several private collections across the country, to have my art displayed in an international magazine, and I enjoy the opportunity to display my current explorations in local art shows.