Loretta Shumate Banderas grew up in the Midwestern United States, among the furrowed fields of a small farming community. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Truman State University in Missouri and a Master of Fine Arts from Southern Illinois University. For more than fifteen years, she has lived and worked in Arizona, where she is influenced by the shape and colors of the land in the Southwest.
The shape of the land has always influenced her work, whether in a representational or abstract manner. The landscape and human interaction with it has always been an inspiration for her work. Architectural forms and how they have affected the land is another common theme and source of abstract forms.
In the Midwest, gently rolling shapes along the horizon and plowed fields in all the different seasonal stages were primary sources of influence. In the Southwest, where the bold landscape dominates even the most common visual aspect of everyday life, it is impossible to ignore. Where the mountains transition to plateau and where human life has etched into the land are sources of material.
She finds that for her own work, the most successful abstract images come from a kernel of a representational image. Even the most non-representational imagery has its basis somewhere in a landscape or structural form.
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