Tori Knutsen, Colorado based artist, creates funky illustrations and abstract paintings. Her work is an investigation of the experience of a complex conscious life, encountered both through the natural environment and an internal dialogue. Tori’s drawings have been exhibited throughout Northern Colorado; most recently, in a group show in the Mariani Gallery at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). In May, Tori will graduate from UNC with her BA in both Graphic Design and Studio Art (Drawing Emphasis).
By layering intricate line drawing over abstract paint, I address the inconspicuous interaction between the conscious and the subconscious. The process begins with loosely laying down paint; once dry, I identify figures and symbols in the shapes and colors. It is a meditative process at its core; painting allows me to confront raw emotions, while drawing teaches me how they manifest as behaviors and beliefs. My work illustrates my innermost insecurities and encourages the normalization of vocalizing emotion.
Not as a mark of weakness, but as an effect of experiencing what it means to be human. Working in this manner, leads me to ponder the ways in which art can heal, both individuals and communities.
I use “feminine” color palettes and floral elements to facilitate my questions about the roles of women, gender, emotions, and expectations. Currently, my work is investigating the semiotics of flowers in juxtaposition with these notions. How do the situations and roles we are placed in translate to our smudgy personal narratives?
How can drawing objects and making marks on paper be used to decipher intellectual intricacies, or a hurting heart?
Knutson, Tori, "FLWR PWR" (2020). 2020 Annual Student Exhibition. 41.