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Elegy #19_DSC5905

 

Opening in October, the New Mexico Museum of Art included some of my work in the Alcoves 16/17 #5 Exhibit.  The Alcoves exhibitions focus on current work by contemporary NM artists and change every 7 weeks.  It is truly amazing how many accomplished, exciting artists are working here.  16/17 #5 happened to include two of my cohorts in the Lady Minimalists Tea Society, Shaun Gilmore and Signe Stuart, along with Kelly Eckel and Mira Burack.  Curator Kate Ware did an outstanding job of selecting artists whose work is strongly related and set up a 5-part dialogue among our individual spaces in the large hall of the museum.

Kate chose 5 paintings from the Elegy series that I made after my husband, Wayne, passed away.  As always, the work is watercolor on translucent Yupo paper (a synthetic paper).  Elegy #19, above, epitomizes my intuitive, receptive painting process and conveys the mixed emotions of grief, calm, and wonder I was feeling at the time (2014).

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Here I am speaking to a crowd at the Museum about my work.

The show is down now, but was chosen as one of the 10 best art events of 2016 by the New Mexico critic for art ltd. magazine.  Thanks, Jon Carver!  We also got positive reviews in the Santa Fe New Mexican Pasatiempo magazine, THE Magazine, and Visual Art Source, an on-line publication.

 

Elegy #18  watercolor on layered translucent Yupo paper 40 x 41

Elegy #18
watercolor on layered translucent Yupo paper
40 x 41″

I’ve added a new page to this site, a “gallery”showing a selection of paintings from this past year.  Altogether, there are over 30 Elegies and Releases.  Not only was it important to honor Wayne’s memory in this way, these were also the only paintings I could have made while grieving.  The series has taken me into some new territory of emotional expression.  Without any deliberation on my part, they reflect the range of my feelings and provide images of spiritual movement and change.  As you will see if you click on the “Elegy” page button (above) I have also in some cases dropped the repetitive elements that have been mainstays for several years.

Elegy #2

SMINK in Dallas will be opening their Back + White show on Saturday evening, August 9th.  I sent  Elegy #2 to join work by Zachariah Rieke and other artists for what promises to be a stunning exhibit.  Elegy #2 is from an ongoing series of black, gray and white (or almost) paintings in memory of my late husband, Wayne.

Working with such a limited palette has forced me to focus even more on qualities of density and transparency, clarity and murkiness, dark and light. Metaphoric allusions can be read into the paintings, or not.  I confess that sometimes I do “read” them like poems, and sometimes as purely visual structures.

Once again, it feels appropriate to be using water to convey possible messages of grieving, loss and comfort.  Water is the element of the emotions –  the dreamy, stormy, moody or serene realm of Neptune – always changeable yet oceanic and deep.

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“After Wayne,” watercolor on layered synthetic paper, 41 x 41.5″

My husband and partner, Wayne, passed away in February.  It has been difficult getting back to work in the studio since then.  The art work was so large a part of our shared life.  I find that color brings up too many memories and only black and white feel appropriate.  This is the first of an intended series of memorial paintings.

Color carries messages and meanings,  suggests references, gives pleasure and sets a mood.  To be without color is a spectacular loss.  On the other hand, it presents a way forward, perhaps the only one for me now, and certainly one I will take.   Even without hue, the painting continues to move silently in its frame, evoking the rhythms and cycles of life, a series of breaths.

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