Ursula Freer

'Miles Before' by Bob Gluck

~

I was born in 1933 in the Eastern part of Poland. At a young age I was not exposed to the visual arts in particular, but there was an appreciation for beauty, nature, science and music within the family, which had an influence on me early on.

My life was idyllic until I was 6 years old when World War II broke out and both Germany and Russia conquered Poland within two weeks time. We were forced to escape from Poland and spent the next nine years as refugees throughout Europe. After the war we could not go back home as the three world powers had decided that our area of Poland would become part of Russia.

Throughout these traumatic years I found solace in nature and especially in drawing the things I loved: landscapes, trees, flowers and animals. To this day I find that beauty tends to have a healing effect on me. I have not found that expressing traumatic events in my work helps me deal with the dark side of life, although I do not doubt that it is therapeutic for others.

During the chaos of the war years my education was very spotty and there were long periods where there was no formal schooling available. My parents did their best to educate me in informal settings, often one on one with a tutor. I did have an opportunity to study privately with a few artists, some of whom taught me technique and discipline but also put a stop to my desire to be an artist. At the ripe age of 15 I decided I really did not have sufficient talent to become an artist, as I my work did not measure up to the work of the classical masters!

Six years after the war my parents and I were finally able to leave Europe and emigrate to the United States of America.

Not until much later in life, after my four children were in their early teens, did I decide to pick up painting where I had left off at a young age. I spent several years studying Chinese brush painting and attending various college art courses including dance, theater and visual arts.

While living in California I was inspired by the luminous watercolor paintings of the California school. I studied this delightful medium with several master teachers.

It was in California where I met my dear friend, sculptor and digital artist, Renata Spiazzi (featured on IDEA#5) who was a pioneer in creating amazing art on the computer. A couple of years later she visited me in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and by that time her work had become even more inspiring. I could not wait any longer to make the leap into the amazing digital medium. With her encouragement I have been at it ever since and have never regretted it.

Often I create my work right in the computer without source material as if the monitor where the canvas. Other times I use photos as a source for my work; I combine them with patterns, other images or text to create digital collages. Photoshop is my favorite software along with several plugins. I work on a Mac G3 with 1 Gig of Ram, three hard drives, two monitors, Umax scanner, Wacom tablet, a CD writer and an Epson 3000 printer. Being able to do my own prints with archival inks and fine art paper gives me the freedom to experiment without reliance on an outside source. Even though I have learned to calibrate and control color management, this seems to be an ongoing challenge.

I feel that my background in traditional painting has given me a good base for using the digital medium. It has also changed my way of creating art. Rather than just another artistic tool, the computer has become a collaborator for expressing and communicating ideas. I find that I can do so much more without the constraints of traditional media.

My interests lie in the connection between man and nature, our planet and the universe. I feel that we are at a time in our development where we are closer than ever to an understanding of these important connections.

Working with images is my way to experience, gain insights and communicate these concepts about how things work on many levels. I also believe there is much to be gained by combining art and science which reflect two particular and important facets of our human makeup.

~

Alia


Arches


Cloudburst


Dream 1


Garden in a Cup


Haiku


Legend


Light & Shadow


Luna


Mountain Dawn


Night Pond


Painted Pony


Photosynthesis


Planetary Event


Rain Forest


Soul of the Machine


Tsunami


Window
~

PUBLICATIONS

December 1999, the Noetic Sciences Review,
1999 Permanent Collection, Australian National Library, Canberra, Australia
February 1999 New Mexico Magazine, Space & Science Issue
Summer 1999 Santa Fe Community College Catalog, Cover

SELECTED EXHIBITS

2002 Digital Art in the 21stCentury, Invitational, Lake Erie College, Painesville OH
2001 100 Universes, A Travelling Installation, Contemporary Gallery, Portland, OR
2001 Forum For Science & Art, Mesa Library Gallery Los Alamos, NM
2001 Recent Works, Johnsons Fine Art Gallery, Madrid, NM
2001 Visual Arts League, Traveling Exhibit, Various Locations, NJ
2001 MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art Digital, three awards
2001 Secrets and Dreams, Santuario de Guadalupe, Santa Fe, NM
2001 Digital Salon, Stele Gallery, Las Cruces, NM
2001 The New Digital Print, Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, CT
2000 Images of the Electronic Age, Civic & Cultural Center, Brea, CA
2000 International Artists Exhibit, Gallery 111, Johannesburg, South Africa
2000 Immedia 2000,Multi Media Union, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
1999 Digital Art Exhibit, Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos, NM,
1999 Best Art of 1999, Johnsons Fine Art Gallery, Madrid, NM,
1999 Visions of the New Millennium, Brandeiss Gallery, Taos, NM,
1999 Digital Art in a Traditional World, Long Beach Art, Long Beach, CA,
1999 Friends of Contemporary Art, Lewellen Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM,
1998 Recent Paintings, Two person show, Artists Gallery, MacMinville, OR,
1998 Space, Solo show, Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM,
1998 Art & Technology 98, Croydon Clocktower Museum, London, UK
1998 Plugged In, Digital Art, Siggraph Convention, Albuquerque, NM,
1998 Friends of Contemporary Art, Lewallen Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM,
1998 The Painters Eye, The Stage Gallery, Merrick, NY, USA (Excellence Award)
1997 Out There, Images of Space, Solo Show, Santa Fe Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM
1997 Planet Fest 97, Planetary Society Exhibit, Pasadena, CA
1997 Computer Art/New Media 97, Group show, Stage Gallery, Merrick, N.Y,
1996 Just Before Dark, Solo Show, Santa Fe Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM,
1995 Mindscapes, Solo Show, Santa Fe Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM,

~
Ursula Freer
28 Avenida Las Nubes
Santa Fe, NM 87508, USA

www.ursulafreer.com