For several years I have been following two parallel paths in my painting; one is figurative, the other is informed by, if not strictly tied to, landscape. My figurative work is narrative in nature and explores emotional, inner experiences using sparse iconic imagery, color and brushwork. This work has been variously described as “soulful”, “dream-scapes”,”internal landscapes”, and art you can “feel in your gut”. Perhaps all apply.
My involvement with landscape was sparked by a particular experience in my local landscape several years ago. I was overwhelmed by fall foliage color that absolutely demanded to be expressed in the studio. Manifested as an intense physical pressure in my chest and an absolute obsession with being IN the color, I couldn’t do anything but deal with it! So I turned myself loose in a series of small paintings with color and painting knives (the color wanted to go on thickly and loosely). The focus here was color, pattern, texture and the like. While sometimes these pieces are instantly recognizable as landscape, at other times the idea of landscape simply provided a loose structure or scaffold within which to explore. In other words, the pieces might be more, or less, abstract. This body of work also grew to include forays out of landscape to become a place for exploration into a variety of areas, such as surface texture.
Initially I thought I’d get this out of my system quickly–just a hiccup in the studio. But, while I still continue with my figurative paintings, the landscape/abstracts have continued, leading to a separate body of work. For now, my figurative and landscape work remain separate, but perhaps one day they will merge.
Ellie will be a Featured Artist at HGA in April, PARALLEL PLAY, opening reception, April 28th, 6-9 pm.
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