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.
My show at the Art Noise Gallery in Kingston has been extended until 12 September 2020! This is great news as both the store and gallery are now open for browsing, occupancy of course limited due to social distancing requirements but an appointment is no longer required. The show also continues virtually (https://www.artnoise.ca/gallery.html) and pieces are rotated in the window for street viewing.
Summer (Sleeping Medusa) is from the Time half of my show. I started this painting in 1980, when I was working in oil. In 2018 I changed the background and in June 2020 I finally finished it in acrylic. Note that she is less elusive than the other figures in Time, revealing her full face (or is it after all a mask, slipping to one side slightly?).
Acrylic, graphite and coloured gesso on birch panel
Size (each): 8″ x 8″ x 1.6″
In my Nereids series of paintings, a tiny pair of luminous elven-like figures explore at my behest distant lands, seas and sky, the underworld and the tops of mountains; they are the agents of my empathetic imagination. The fifty Nereids of Greek mythology were gentle, unremarkable maidens who lived at the bottom of the sea. In my work they exemplify the humility needed to understand, to connect.
“Nereids Join La Danse” I, II, and III, with a nod to Henri Matisse in particular, celebrate artists of integrity great and small. They will be on display at the Isabel Bader Centre, Art and Media Lab, Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada (March 16-27) as part of the exhibit “The Politics of the Artist’s Footprint” https://www.facebook.com/events/125247775582098/
“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.
My recent solo show Restoring Balance: Before and Between (Art Noise Gallery, Kingston Canada — 23 Aug to 20 Sep) featured this work and its companion, Nereids Descending, both completed in July this year. The gallery (http://www.artnoise.ca/gallery.html) currently is exhibiting A Show of Smalls, featuring the work of over 20 artists, including mine — on through October 18.