Doodler’s galaxy

Oct 26, 2005 at 12:00 am

Whether drawing in ink or painting in oil, artist Faina Lerman spontaneously follows a line as easily as a train of thought. Her art finds its form like an ordinary day made from many small choices, or a stone rippling calm water.

Lerman, 30, and recently married to artist Graem Whyte, studied sculpture at Oakland Community College and received her undergraduate degree at College for Creative Studies in painting and drawing. For the past few years she has taught art to elementary and middle school students at various Detroit schools through the Community Arts Partnership Program.

As exemplified here in a spread from her sketchbook, simple phrases and doodles turn into constellations that defy magnitude. Her tiny crowds of circles could be a small platter of caviar or a cluster of stars. Her paintings do vary slightly from her drawings; they feature bolder and more aggressive brushstrokes, and that’s because she lets the medium do what it wants. Color is a focal point, so her predominantly neutral palette is highlighted by eye-popping hues.

Flipping through her notepad, lidded jars appear often in Lerman’s work. She explains it this way: “My family moved from Latvia to metro Detroit when I was 5. I think a lot about my life here in comparison to the lives of generations who lived before me.” In searching for a deeper connection to them, she considers the symbolism of a container. That may be the only sign of control in the art of one local who just lets it flow.

Rebecca Mazzei is Metro Times arts editor. Send comments to [email protected]