Nereids Reach the Deep Sea Floor

Acrylic, ink, crayon, mesh netting on canvas (2021)

Size: w 16″ x h 10″ x d 1.75″

Why Paint? That is the question asked of members of the Organization of Kingston Women Artists. Those in the group who choose paint as their medium have responded and their work will be exhibited in a show at Art Noise Gallery, Kingston, Canada (https://www.artnoise.ca/gallery.html) from 24 June to 07 August 2021. My contributions to this show include this piece as well as Nereids in the Garden of Hippocampus (https://npaulartworks.com/2021/01/13/nereids-in-the-garden-of-hippocampus/).

Nereids Reach the Deep Sea Floor started with an impulse to play – with pigment, mediums, collage – with paint. Over time and iterations I came to understand at last where it was going and brought in the Nereids and their friends: the luminescent, fanged creatures of the dark mountainous world that is the bottom of the ocean. Monstrous in appearance to us, it is they who are under threat, endangered because of the commercial fishery practice of bottom trawling. (Present here: Dragonfish (x2), anomuran, coelacanth, hatchet fish, fangtooth (x2), anglerfish, viperfish (x2), predatory tunicate, frilled shark, gulper eel (x2), tube-eye.)

Before the Dance (Tahiti)

Oil on canvas (?early 1980s)

Size: w 30″ x h 26″

This painting looks better now since the photograph was taken. It’s been cleaned, retouched, and varnished to bring out the deep shadows and rich colours. It is currently on display at The Piggery Gallery in Newburgh (https://www.thepiggerygallery.com/) along with many of my other pieces, large and small, recent and somewhat less so (for example, The Great Black Cow of Lascaux (https://npaulartworks.com/2016/07/31/the-great-black-cow-of-lascaux/).

The annual show of the Organization of Kingston Women Artists, UnRestricted, is currently up at The Window Gallery in Kingston (http://www.windowartgallerykingston.com/). The show can be experienced virtually (https://youtu.be/gm7JgXgVkvI) as well as in person, limited access of course. My piece in the show is On the Beach (Dark Summer), previously posted just over a year ago (https://npaulartworks.com/2019/08/) and my statement addressing the theme “unrestricted” is as follows:

I begin a painting with an idea and an image, sailing into the unknown, unrestricted in subject or intention.  I know where I start and will come to know where I end; between are clusters of small course corrections, at times dramatic changes of direction. The voyage is driven by instinct, the trajectory charted in retrospect; understanding comes afterward. Begun as a figure study, On the Beach ends as the experience of loss and death on a golden day under a sapphire sky.  The figure is burnt, branded and radioactively radiant, yet she looks up with hope, listening and waiting.

Main website: http://www.npaulvisualart.com

Alternative Vision

Shape of Water

“I felt a shock of recognition last year after seeing two films (ironically, directed by men) that celebrate subversive feminism with the potential to save our polarized civilization.  Elisa (The Shape of Water, image above) is a cleaner at a secret government laboratory during the Cold War who teaches sign language to an amphibian humanoid captured and tortured there.  Louise (Alien) is a linguist enlisted by the U.S. Army to discover how to communicate with aliens who have arrived on Earth before tensions lead to global war.  My art is about listening, compassion and humility – alternative vision, not alternative facts.”

The above is my Artist Statement to accompany the monotype Two Graces: Fleur, Fille which was my contribution to the 2018 group show of the Organization of Kingston Women Artists (OKWA) — https://okwa.org/events — continuing at the Tett Centre until November 4.