Art is an expression of deeply held truths. My pieces reflect how I see the world - used, gritty, dangerous, but also unexpected, new, interesting and beautiful. I want to see the raw character of stuff. When juxtaposed, aspects are transformed. My work is about the fierce joy in life despite everything.
My work evolves from an abstract expressionist process without a preconceived idea of where the work is going. I respond to the materials and the composition as directly, spontaneously and honestly as I can. I try to make a symphony of colors, shapes and textures which gives me joy and moves me visually the way music moves me auditorily.
I have a background in carpentry, stonewall building, interior decorating, and woodworking. My husband and I have an organic farm, Nicks Organic Farm, and much of my materials for my sculptures and jewelry come from old roofing and other objects found on the farm. People also bring me things, especially the bicyclist Dan Lehman, an artist and poet in his own right, who scavenges as he travels around the DC area.
Viewers are invited to fall into and travel around the work seeing different things depending on where they are coming from. Like a poem or improvisational jazz, abstract art should speak to and resonate with something important deep inside.
Tory Cowles' paintings and sculptures are shown widely in the mid-Atlantic region. She is represented by Touchstone Gallery in Washington, D.C. She works and shows her work in Studio 7 at the Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA as well as in her studio at home. She was chosen to be the 2011 Torpedo Factory Artist of the Year by juror Harry Cooper, Head of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art. She is currently an abstract painting instructor at the Yellow Barn in Glen Echo Park, Maryland. She has a background as a carpenter, woodworker, and stonewall builder.