Paintings from Courtney Thiesen

Courtney Thiesen
Paintings begin as grains of sand—questions or images stay with me, ideas and
feelings accumulate in my subconsciousness, shifting in around in my mind. While
asleep or awake, thoughts and images start repeating. Questions form from pictures
seen in a magazine, a strange experience or memory, often icons seem to present
themselves from out of nowhere. I am forced to ask- why these images, why this set
of questions? Artwork is the sieve, working to sort through these grains of sand to
find something whole. It is a method of discovery, a way of trying to understand my
connection with others, with nature, with our culture and shared history.
As an oil painter I am also interested in the brilliant color and tactile physical nature
of the paint itself. Whether trusting myself to dab thick textured relief, hurriedly and
greedily waiting to see a colorful bunch of blossoms, or patiently waiting days,
weeks, or even years as I layer glazes of paint- I feel connected to artists from the
past who have gone through this process. Like them, I explore issues of identity,
sexuality, and my relationship to society. Art creates meaning, reconciles differences,
and allows me to understand myself, to untangle the many threads of meaning
surrounding me. It is also exciting and fun, something I cannot live without.

Courtney Thiesen’s work is on exhibit at San Jose’s Cafe Frascati. She may be reached at