Meredith Pardue‘s paintings are organic compositions that combine random actions with deliberate mark making. While her forms and colours are derived from floral and plantlike structures this is merely a language through which she creates a dialogue between herself and the canvas, it is a means to describe her visual interior, an abstract language that remains intimately personal and emotional, physical and psychological.
Pardue sees each composition as an investigation, a quest to find an appropriate language that speaks to the viewer on an individual level while remaining common to all, a record of nature’s cycles of growth and decay that we all intuitively understand. In short she seeks to transform the public worlds of nature and human dynamic into a place of private knowledge.
These paintings remind me of Japanese prints, stained glass, Victorian illustrations; all delicate, the mark making controlled yet energetic as she attempts to capture the transparent and translucent qualities of the plants and flowers she paints, an emotional connection to the flora and fauna that surrounds her. It is the absolute centrality of her subject matter and her obvious love of nature that shines through in each canvas. Here’s what she says about her work:
Inspired by the transparencies of water, the translucency of petals, and the opacities of foliage, in these pieces I continue to explore the range of visual possibilities and the various combinations of opposing visual elements – the transition of color as it morphs from warm to cool, from saturated to dull, from light to shadow. There is an ethereal, yet very physical essence to these moments of transition. I find it impossible to capture all of these in a single piece and find gratification in creating series of “snapshots” of these passing moments where I am able to throw myself completely into a world of potentially infinite combinations possessing varying degrees of these polar elements.
What does remain consistent for me throughout all of the work, however – the individual pieces as well as the series – is the element of singularity that is somehow compelled into existence for some reason or another. For me this is the very essence of the work, the intangible essence of its being, and the place where the magic happens. The act of noticing something with my senses, of applying a certain meaning to it with my mind, and then to transforming into something else with my hands–the entire process, one might conclude – is yet grossly incomplete without the intangible essence of its being. It is sacred and unattainable, but we continue to try to know it, to reach it, to touch it, to feel it, to experience it, to comprehend it – and in the case of the artist, to convey it through some kind of sensory means. And maybe it is not different than the highest thing we know – love itself.
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