Artist Statement

Long before I ever picked up my first paint brush or camera I was creating memory pictures. One of my first memory pictures is of me running barefoot in the soft sand of a dry desert ravine. In the foreground are my discarded little sandals. I am running away, long golden-brown hair flying wildly, and backlit by the yellow setting sun.

I am strongly influenced by the two different communities where I grew up. As a child the Mojave Desert was my playground infusing my heart with small towns, nature and the great outdoors. In my teens the Los Angeles area was my stomping ground instilling in me the love of the exciting city, the diversity of its inhabitants and the beauty of the cityscape. Being a small town, country girl and a city slicker has helped develop my eclectic taste and interest.

I approach my art by heading out into the wilds of the city where I live (or the countryside which I crave) on a safari to hunt for that amazing image or just the pieces of a future work. My eclecticism influences my art from the mediums I use to the images I choose. My work tends to focus on the beauty of things from the mundane to the extraordinary and capturing snaps in time which are often hidden in plain sight. I depict our amazing world with an almost realistic style that has a fantastical edge, abstract quality, or surreal feel. I use the juxtaposition of textures, light, and color often resulting in high contrast imagery. In my photography I have started exploring surrealism. This was a natural development as I try to embrace the city girl with the country girl creating an “urban nature” direction to my work.

Bio

Bonnie McDermott was born in 1962 in the small desert town of Ridgecrest, CA, the youngest of Larry and Carol Brown’s five children. She lived there in a geodesic dome until she was 11 years old when the family moved to Sylmar, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles. When she was 20 she moved back to the dome, and while there attended Cerro Coso Community College.

In 1990, she earned her BA in Art from California State University, Long Beach. After graduating she moved back to Sylmar and started teaching at a preschool and later taught middle school and high school. Bonnie was an educator for 22 years at private schools.

In 2009, she followed her dream of being a professional photographer, starting Bonnie McDermott Photography on a part-time basis. In 2011 she combined her photography and teaching skills offering an extensive educational program for the photo enthusiast. She left her teaching position in 2012 to run her business full-time. Also, in 2012, she started submitting her work in competitions and shows. In 2014, Bonnie started painting again which triggered several major changes in her business. First, she stopped competing and showing her work to take time to redefine herself as an artist and explore the direction of her art and style. Then, she renamed her business Bonnie McDermott Studios, to incorporate painting with photography. The last change was to expand her educational program to include teaching painting and art in group and private lessons.

EDUCATION

1990      BA in Art, California State University, Long Beach, CA
1987      AA in Art, Cerro Coso Community College, Ridgecrest, CA

AWARDS
2013      Santa Paula Society of the Arts 76th Annual Art &
Photography Exhibit 2013, Third Place “Peoples’ Choice”
2012      The Art House, Runner-up, Best of the Show
2012      4th Art Contest on Artavita.com, Honorable Mention

EXHIBITIONS
2015      Solo Exhibition, House of Brews, Light and Shadows,
San Fernando, CA
2015      Group Exhibition, Santa Paula Society of the Arts 78th
Annual Art & Photography Exhibit, Santa Paula, CA
2013      Group Exhibition, Santa Paula Society of the Arts 76th
Annual Art & Photography Exhibit, Santa Paula, CA
2013      Group Exhibition, NVAL International Juried
Photography Show, Carter House Gallery,
              Photography: The Full Spectrum, Redding, CA
2012      Group Exhibition, The Art House, Los Angeles, CA

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
2000 – 2012 Jr/Sr High School Art and Photography Teacher, First Lutheran High School, Sylmar, CA

Bonnie-and-Jeep