Artist’s Statement (From the MS Invitational Catalogue)
    Carlyle Wolfe

Gainesville, Florida
December 17, 1977


B.F.A. 2000 University of Mississippi
M.F.A. 2004 Louisiana State University

    My work begins in drawing from observation. In the prolonged, quiet process of translating the intricate detail of plant forms into lines, I gather not only the components of my paintings and works on paper, but also a more sensitive awareness of the seasonal, cyclical rhythm of which my subjects are part. I choose materials and working methods that further that awareness and reflect qualities of my subjects.
    From outside the little house where I live, I cut various blooms and branches to draw—begonias, hydrangeas, zinnias, pink ladies, oak leaves, kudzu, kalanchoe, quince, camellias, redbud, bells, daffodils, and dogwood. From line drawings, I make paper cuts that I use as stencils or independently in site-specific installations. I develop the whole body of paintings and works on paper simultaneously from common source material so that they are interconnected then call them by one family name.
    Because it is formed from materials and working-methods that reflect my observation of the natural world, the work has physical properties in common with its subject and manifests the atmosphere-environment that it studies. When possible I choose handmade materials and tools for their individuality. The brushes that I made from my dog’s hair, make unique, fluid marks that contrast the intricate control in cutting and stitching detail and reflect more general experience of skies, waters, and landscapes. Washes, thin veils of color, share delicate, subtle shifts with the softness of petals, the freshness of air, the clarity of light shifting. Layers are days and seasons, accumulated abundance of form. Stitching is connecting, grafting together parts, entangled lines of roots, branches, and veins.

The work is an active process of seeing and seeking to see more fully.  It is evidence of daily understandings, layered and stitched together.  I am interested in how the work reveals reality and concerned with experiential knowledge.
I see the atmosphere-environment that I study as life-giving, fruitful, temporal, full of nourishing beauty, a place of peace, shelter, and healing.