As is the case with many of the artists I find to profile on Art Baby, I first connected with Claiborne Colombo's work as I was scrolling through Instagram. There's an intensity here: the rich colors look like they're seeping through the paper or canvas, while splatters of paint and meandering lines fill out an abstract landscape pulsing with a deep and welcome energy that's apparent in all of her art. I was so happy to find out we live in the same city and recently met for coffee (matcha for her!) at the Stumptown Coffee in the Ace Hotel in Downtown Portland. Claiborne is energetic and charming, full of life and ideas, and passionate about cultivating opportunities for creative connection.
Where did you grow up and where you do live now?
I lived in various places in the South until I was 25. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia and went to school in Tennessee. Before I moved, I had no idea the Pacific Northwest was a thing. It’s so beautiful out here. Lush, green - all the plants are bigger. It’s crazy. Currently, I live in St. Johns neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. It has a really nice old-school vibe mixed with industry and nature.
How would you describe your art? What’s your medium?
I’m an abstract mixed-media artist. Working on both canvas and paper, I use transparent layers of acrylic, graphite, charcoal, and pastels. The layers intersect and combine without compromising the raw nature of each material.
I like to use colors that flow, vibrate and bounce off one another. They act as a compass, helping the eye navigate through the layered terrain.
In play with the swaths of color are more detailed marks. With my marks, I try to capture movement, subtle shifts, and drastic divides. Throughout my work, lines and shapes are repeated and transformed, flowing across the expanse.