Guest artist of Carol Koutnik
I was born in Mobile, Alabama, and received my B.F.A. from the University of South Alabama, in Mobile, in painting and drawing. Originally a philosophy major, I changed majors immediately after my first drawing class. Following undergraduate, I attended the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, as a graduate teaching assistant and earned my M.F.A. I began teaching as an adjunct at Del Mar Community College in 2011, and currently teach as assistant professor of art at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.
These paintings feature dice used in role playing games (RPGs) like Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder. Primarily, I find these objects compulsively attractive. Reflective, transparent, and colorful they can now be produced in ways manufacturers only dreamed of. Dice rolls determine the success or failure of a character’s action. The anticipation and tension over a critically important roll feels similar to the experience of my creative process. The outcome of the roll, like the creative process, is something a player learns to cooperate with rather than control. Both the player and artist play roles (often multiple ones) either as a fictional character in a game or maker. Fantasy and imagination may not only connect those roles, but also be a place where they overlap. The dice are painted large, filling the painting suggesting the viewer’s face is close, lovingly examining the dice like a precious object as I would. Theatrical lighting also enhances the “character” that the dice themselves are playing, stated in the titles.