Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Going Big

It's been a few days since I last updated, but I certainly have been busy. I pretty much left caution to the wind and went all out with these last few pieces...and I can't remember ever having more fun painting. 
The work pretty much speaks for itself, but I would preface it with some context. Throughout the summer I've been combating the generalized, commodified images propagated by the Maine tourist industry. I've sought to see past prescribed "scenic" or "beautiful" views and instead look for the ephemeral, the fleeting, specific experience. 
In these paintings I think I have moved past the parameters of simple landscape and moved towards an idea...the notion that each moment that nature is experienced is singular, irreplaceable and un-reproducible. The interaction between the viewer and the object is a personal, almost intimate suspension of time. 

I hope these paintings also suspend time and insist on specificity. They certainly demand your attention. 

One half of the Sunset/Red Tide diptych.....this will be hung horizontally, but I quite liked the daunting effect the painting has when it is standing vertical. The painting is 8' x 5' 2".   
Bottom half of the diptych. These photos do not do justice to the complexity of these works, there are layers upon layers of paint and ink, wet into wet mixing, and raised lines of thrown paint. 
Now imagine this sideways.....
Hands down my favorite painting. Somehow it resembles a nebula, but I prefer to think of it as bio-luminescence or perhaps what is going on in my brain while I paint. All abstraction has an element of reality in it, and those little tidbits are my element of the Real in this one. 
Bio-luminescence and Wave 1 together. I think they belong as such. 
The building process....this was actually really fun because I got to use power tools, but also somewhat unfortunate because I got a shard of wood in my eye. Even though I was wearing protective lenses. WORST PAIN EVER. Thank goodness Matt isn't squeamish and didn't mind fishing it out of my eye with a q-tip several hours later. 
A detail of Sunset/Red Tide in process....
Another detail
Sunset/Red tide was actually one piece of canvas to start but logically, aesthetically  and functionally it made sense to make it into two pieces. (I couldn't have gotten it out of the building in one piece.)
Wave first home-made stretchers were used on this one. I'm still figuring those out, but there is something so empowering about taking lumber and making it into something I want. Even if every time I go to Home Depot the lumber men are astonished a girl (in a skirt!!) wants to buy so much wood. 
Smaller pieces....

1 comment:

  1. As usual, Elyssa has gone big instead of going home. It was probably in her best interest that she's been locked away in solitary confinement in to paint this summer because it seems to have afforded her another opportunity to dig deeper into her own mind to see the midcoast as something that none of us did before.

    The neblus cloud is a perfect example: I found myself checking out this painting for a while and being almost petrified by the question of "Where is Maine here?"

    It doesn't take much experience to realize that "Vacationland" IS a funny concept. The fact that Elyssa is probing and poking holes in the idea to find another version of what it means to be real or alive here in this misnomered state is a great exampe of the benefit of self-awareness.

    And while this self-awareness isn't happeneing everywhere in Maine, the fact that its happening in a large but lonely studio in the non-descript McLellan Building and being documented on this blog is enough to make me feel really proud. -SM