Parallel Play

Ellie Reinhold

Serendipity Brought Me Here…

Since my earliest days of art-making I’ve been attracted to, and my process and work driven by, serendipity.

In school the discovery of a yard full of snaky seed pods (catalpa, I learned) drove the creation of a series of 3D paintings which spilled piles of pods from their interiors. Later, a love for the texture of Spanish moss combined with a visual fascination with shredded tire debris along the interstate to yield a series of small (but big enough to enter) house installations lined, or covered, by one or the other.

The objects that populate my canvases and interact with my figures are dictated by serendipity as well. Planks of wood appear, triggered by visuals of boards piled at my house during construction (Cobble). Dilapidated houses and barns translate from the real world into surreal environments for figures (Fledge).

Serendipity even split the direction of my painting. I had been working figuratively for years when the beauty of a particularly awesome fall initiated a parallel body of landscape paintings.As with my figurative work, my landscape paintings have been prone to change and shift serendipitously.

My impulse to inject geometric shapes and pattern into my landscapes was driven by contemplating an exhibit theme, Uncharted. Admiration for the work of a colleague led to experiments with surface quality and changes in how I use my painting tools. Thus, my semi-realistic landscapes became abstracted landscapes, or abstract paintings with landscape elements.

In this show you can find semi-realistic landscapes, like View With Four Trees or Stepping Out. You can find landscapes that hearken to the emotional qualities of my figurative work, like Gesture. There are also several abstracted landscapes, such as Night and Day. Then there are four pieces that play with the forest as a unit, e.g. Forest Fortress, which are a little different from all of the above.

Though the show holds together well, and perhaps the differences are more subtle than I think, that’s quite a mix of approaches! I believe change may be afoot, and I’m wondering where serendipity will take me next…