My current work is concerned with testing the dichotomous relationship between the painting as flat object and its depiction of the interaction of dimensional forms.  To accomplish this, I rely only on the simplicity of line, and the complexity of color usage.

In my drawing process, observations from both the natural and manmade worlds combine to make abstractions that exist somewhere in the metaphysical realm.  Ideas from other sources, such as literature or scientific discovery sometimes enter in, adding an undercurrent of meaning.  Eventually, I arrive at an abstract drawing of intersecting lines, the reading of which is totally ambiguous at this point, as a diagram of an Escher might read.

It is my fascination with color that sustains my approach to painting.  I delight in the surprise that comes with each painting’s progress, as I do not predetermine anything beyond mixing a few start-up colors.  Every fragmented shape is a color mixture derived from the starting palette.

In my intention to feature color rather than paint action or texture, I create a smooth, flat surface on a hard substrate by applying multiple coats of acrylic colors, achieving an opaque, yet luminous skin.  My aim is to make the hand seem absent, to challenge the viewer to think about how a painting was made,  and to ponder and appreciate the process, without clues, such as obvious brush strokes.  So much work, creative or other, involves labor of mind and body that we don’t necessarily see in the finished product.

Characteristic of my paintings, and key to my vision, is the attention I pay to managing contrasts in hue, tonality and value in creating the illusion that shapes and forms can appear transparent or translucent, conveying an interface between structure, depth, space and light.  In 2019, I began using irregularly shaped perimeters, altering the compositional field, emphasizing form within form, and the painting as object.

Marjorie Hellman