paintings and metal heart sculpture
Lele Galer Gallery
Oil Paintings - Encaustic - Steel Sculpture - Public Art
Large scale and small oil paintings on canvas and wood. The focus is on texture and color to create an environment that captures my feeling of place. The place is real, but the artwork is an abstracted interpretation that recreates a sensual response to the place. I like trees because of the juxstapostion of the strong verticals amidst the background of undergrowth and light. My work distills what draw me to the magic of a forest: strength, light, calm and energy. When I paint temples and Roman ruins, I am drawn to the same strong vertical supports, aged in history, embued with light, and full of wisdom and spirit.
Non-abstracted paintings are usually from my travel photographs of pediment scuptural figures that like the trees and temples, carry history and strength and have a spiritual presence.
Small to medium scale encaustic painitings done on wood surface. Right now encaustics are more of an experimental medium for me, and are more successful if they are married with a photographic image that I have taken. The encaustic medium is a mixture of hot wax medium with color pigment, which is then torched and burnished and layered. I like the atmospheric quality of the wax and the ability to manipulate the textures from high sheen to matted and pitted. The more I work the image, the more layers and subtle lights and colors emerge to create an atmosphere that acts as a kind of periscope into another world. There is a gem-like quality to encaustics that I love, and the adventure of painting encaustic is a whole lot of fun.
After taking a summer workshop with artist Stan Smokler, I have been hooked on this rather dangerous and thrilling art form. The feeling of my steel works is the exact opposite of my two dimensional works. There is no sense of peace and calming of the spirit in my metal works - they are all about bound and unbound energy. When I work with steel, the steel chards are my paint strokes, which are bent and hammered and torched to stay in form, but resist the restraints of my efforts. I prefer using found steel from salvage yards, that has a history and is already rusted and warped into unearthly shapes. I am intrigued with the steel and will show all my welded marks, scratches and rust, revealing my attempts to rein in this metal force of nature.
I started in public art as a way to be in the schools with my children, but once I got involved it took on a life of its own. The impact of public art in a setting is powerful and transformative at every stage of the process, particularly if the public is involved in creating it. In the schools, I worked with from ten to five hundred children and adults on a given project, and unlike personal artwork, I had to be extremely organized, patient, and obey the dictates of whomever owned the building. I have completed over 70 public art projects, and my favorite ones were a year-long history mural in Mount Kisco Elementary, the Cafeteria at Unionville Elementary, the exterior of Tick Tock Early Learning Center, the flag at Pocopson Elementary, the glass mosaic at Unionville High School entryway, the entrance to Westtown Middle School and the Sendak mural in the Pocopson Library. The most successful projects were mosaics. Mosiacs do not lose their vitality over time; they are tough to mess up, and the best thing is that children of any age and ability can work with these small bright colors. They remember what pieces they placed. Mosaics are also fragments of broken plates and cups, which is an opportunity for the public to collaborate on a piece even if they do not set it in cement.