IN THE STUDIO: Audrey Stone

Brooklyn-based artist Audrey Stone creates abstract geometric paintings filled with meticulously gradated bands of color and sharp lines jutting across the canvas. Her work explores the subtle transformation of light and tone, illustrating the eye’s process of scanning across the richly varied hues of a landscape. The delicate shifts in color juxtaposed with rigidly defined edges complicates the notion of change, suggesting that boundaries can simultaneously exist and disappear in a single moment.

Audrey Stone, Press 2, 2018, 40 x 40 inches

“My focus on color has been strong for years but my approach to color continues to evolve and now varies within the different series I am engaged with.  Recent works have very subtle color shifts in the gradients that at times are hard to decipher visually. The overall result is a feeling of glow and sensation of vibration.” — Audrey Stone

Sketching out a composition

Stone’s studio practice often begins with rough sketches and line drawings that indicate the composition, color, and density of a piece. Sometimes this leads directly to painting on a canvas from the sketch, though some works require more thorough studies on paper that examine the interaction of color.

Color studies

“The studies are never exact blueprints for the larger works but bring me confidence to move forward with an image where unexpected changes are bound to happen as I work.” — Audrey Stone

Audrey Stone, Between, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 17 x 14 inches

“My process is methodical and procedural, and entails measurement, counting, and testing color for accuracy. I work from one edge of the canvas towards the other: top to bottom, left to right, the center out, or both sides inward. There is often symmetry in the resulting compositions. I use a few different lines of water-based paints and the drying times vary. With some paints it is literally one band of color a day on a work as I need to wait and see the true color once it has dried. Other paints are much faster, and I can cover more ground in a session. Either way, the process is one of marking time, a day or moments in the studio.” — Audrey Stone

Audrey Stone, In The Studio

For Stone, measuring tools and tape make up as much of her process as the paint itself, as finished works rely upon the scrupulous, exacting development of color to achieve their uncanny fluidity. Using tape to block off one strip of color from the next, Stone still allows for unpredictable bleed of paint, letting distinct rows of color retain a soft edge that is integral to her paintings.

Audrey Stone, In The Studio

“My brushstrokes are directional and surface texture is arrived at by the various points where the paint is applied and thinned by the pressure of the stroke. The surfaces are subtle and delicate.” — Audrey Stone

Audrey Stone, By Hand, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

The ceaseless precision of color and line evokes the synthetic perfectionism of digitally manipulated art, though Stone’s paintings also foreground the organic nuance of the handcrafted. Up close, her paintings reveal sinuous layers of texture and occasional bleed of color, where the unmistakably human touch elevates the calming accuracy of the work.

Audrey Stone, Venetian Hold, 2021, Flashe on canvas, 20 x 16 inches

“I do not go back into a work to paint over already painted areas, it is a process of moving across the surface, like putting one foot in front of the other to arrive at a destination, until the painting is complete.” — Audrey Stone

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