Artist Statement

Artists create lexicons – brushstrokes, marks, scrapings, drips, motifs – and use them to create nonverbal “stories”. Viewers take pleasure in “reading” these stories.

Most of Debi Pendell’s recent works are investigations of semiotics, language, and meaning based in the format of landscape painting. Concentrating on abstract elements of recognizable shapes and characters in combination with materials and processes, Pendell plays with symbols of both visual art and language and how people “read” them and make meaning from them.

Letters, numbers, math equations and such are used abstractly, serving as value, texture, pattern and spatial indicators. Trees, birds, circles, and other images are used as abstract symbols in the same way. Actual space and the illusion of space are explored; created and thwarted. Viewers successfully combine the disparate imagery and find meaning in the gestalt of the combination.

Often viewers mistake some of Pendell’s works for encaustic. But no wax is used, only acrylic gels and mediums. The main process of these works is collage, along with painting, drawing, and mixed media. At times viewers don’t recognize the collage because the process embeds the elements within layers of acrylic.

In some of Pendell’s works the letters, numbers, trees, birds, and other symbols are used only minimally or even left out entirely. In some the acrylic encaustic-like treatment is missing or is much thinner. The landscape format is almost always in play, sometimes also minimally. Pendell often plays with the line where abstraction and representation merge and diverge.

Debi Pendell’s work can be viewed on her website,, and in her Eclipse Mill studio by appointment.

Debi Pendell Artist by