Artist Statement

Both my 2 dimensional and my 3 dimensional work develops from an abstract expressionist process.  For me, art is an expression of deeply held truths.  I start painting or constructing and then create a dialog with the work, acting and responding as directly, as spontaneously and as honestly as I can.  This process requires me to set aside the analytical side of my brain for a time and experiment and free associate allowing unexpected elements and juxtapositions to evolve.  I almost always have to come back in and assess the work’s effectiveness analytically in order to pull the whole thing together.  I don't have a preconceived idea of where the work is going.  I enjoy allowing as much chaos and spontaneity as possible with just enough structure to hold it together.

I like to combine strong, bold, loose gestures and materials with subtle, softer, more meditative and elegant areas so that both have integrity, both interact with each other, and both hold their own.  I enjoy the tension between structure and chaos in a piece and varying the amount of both within a piece.

Viewers are invited to fall into and to travel around the work seeing different things depending on what they bring to the process, what moves them.  Like a poem or improvisational jazz, abstract art should speak to and resonate with something important deep inside.

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Tory Cowles

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.