Denise Bellezzo



My working process is grounded in Drawing. I develop a personal language through the use of abstract mark-making and descriptive contour lines. Source materials collected from my walks and travels both consciously and subconsciously inform my drawing process. Drawing, for me, becomes a new language as well as documentation. My current body of work explores the careful delineation of natural forms and the discovery of hidden qualities inherent in nature. This process reveals abstract structures that I respond to through mark-making and simplification.   The drawing is an exploration of line, shape, gestural movements, patterns, and color. The juxtaposition of straight lines; the unexpected twists and turns; the erasures; are all marks made spontaneously and then edited to enrich the contour of the shape. Contour line is applied and masked and applied again to build up layers of information. Repetition, simulated textures, and flat patterns pronounce certain areas or create a new dialogue. When drawing, a spontaneous approach helps make the image emerge from the ground rather than being placed on it. In my work, the explosion of the organic shape is neither ominous nor brooding but rather upbeat as it pulsates and bulges within the framework of the rectangular picture plane.

I recently found photographic aerial views of land plats of Illinois that I have used as a drawing surface and starting point for my drawing process. These large plat papers are rich in muted black and gray photographic tones that stimulate a response from me. New imagery emerges from the organic shapes, abstract geometric patterns, remnants of texture, erasures, and overlays that I introduce on the paper surface. Natural forms have provided the core for my ideas and inspiration for my art. My studio space is filled with natural objects that I have collected from my walks and travels. I look for the remains of nature, like bones, seed pods, birds’ nests, twisty branches, leaves, stones, and fossils. Sometimes I work directly from the objects, interpreting them rather literally, while other times they become more of an abstraction and analysis. The process is one of exploration and improvisation that allows me to combine my interest in nature with a love for drawing. Media that has flexibility and spontaneity like ink, paint sticks, and mono printing techniques help facilitate an immediate response from me.






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