• Revision, 76" X 128", Diptych, acrylic, 2016
  • Spectrum, 66" X 68", Acrylic, 2012
  • Key, 84" X 76", Acrylic, 2011
  • Measure, 84" X 76", Acrylic, 2008
  • Register, 84" X 76", Acrylic, 2009
  • Rondo, 76" X 120", Diptych, Acrylic, 2005
  • Fifty-Two, 80" X 120", Diptych, Acrylic, 2002
  • Premonition, 72" X 90", Acrylic, 2001
  • Polder, 72" X 144", Diptych, Acrylic, 2001
  • Breath, 72" X 90", Acrylic, 1998
  • Particle/Wave, 72" X 126", Diptych, Acrylic, 1998
  • Plato's Cave, 72" X 184", Triptych, Acrylic, 1995
  • Register, in the studio
  • Rondo & Measure, in the studio
  • Key & Spectrum in the studio
Click for Selected Details

Artist Statement

Figurative abstraction best describes my paintings; my imagery invariably refers to aspects of the external world. In addition to three-dimensional perspective, I often make use of another mode of spatial description common to architectural design - the ground plan diagram, conceived schematically, as in a map. These two depictions of space serve as a framework for ideas I take up in my large-scale works.

The everyday experience of our surroundings, and the way we understand it, provides a context for my imaginary environments. How our eye moves through a painting is analogous to the motions of the body as it passes through space. The eye travels through a host of obstacles, pathways, and detours, in a kind of catch and release action, moving forward or around or backward, slowing down or speeding up, in a visual scrutiny whose rhythms and halting arrests of motion parallel the kinesthetic responses of the moving body.

Our senses are exercised by these dynamic psychological and bodily associations which everywhere enter into my paintings: pictorial space becomes a locale; abstract images suggest human artifacts. The eye notes moods of weather, the spirit of place, architectural structures, and the play between shadow and substance. Integral with these are formal considerations such as the complementary oppositions between flat surface and atmospheric space; simple versus complex visual incident; geometric versus organic form; and ambient versus telescoped light.

In my paintings I seek to express a provocative ambiguity, a state of resonating interaction between figurative and abstract elements. Whether the order of reason gives way to chaos, or vice versa, I mean to invite a visual exploration through spatial conundrums, and unexpected correlations of the familiar with the imaginary.

- Paula Elliott, 2011