“Reconciled” depicts a woman with eyes closed o- resting, relaxing, praying or mediating. She is imposed upon a landscape as seen from above, in the form of a 3D relief topographical map. The mountains are her hair. Here is a haiku-length poem I wrote about her:
she soaks at the spot where the city meets the mountains.
Turning roads to ravines, extending paths of forgiveness.
All is reconciled.
This piece is meant to evoke peace and calm amidst movement, like all my work. It also represents my desire for reconciliation between the city and the mountains, between humans and nature…true and lasting restoration after a fiery clash, either physically or within interpersonal relationships. Or even spiritual relationships, as between humans and God.
There have been many forest fires in the last few years, both in the area I live now and in this very part of Colorado shown on the map. And so along with this piece comes a prayer for restoration of the mountains, of the trees and the homes that have burned. This is where I went to college and where many members of my family live.
At the beginning, I planned out this painting, considering dozens of variations on composition, variations on what map to use, and variations of what figure to use as a reference. I wanted it to feel like the viewer is looking down on the woman (as on the landscape/map) but still to be able to see a lot of her face.
Then, making it became an experimental process! I tried painting her face onto the rocky surface of the mountain, before realizing it didn’t work and I needed to paint the face on a smooth surface. I knew what I had to try but I was not sure how it would turn out! I cut a circle where her face is, a hole in the mountains on the topographical relief map centered on Boulder, Colorado. I covered that flat area with watercolor paper and mediums and, fitting with the theme, spent a lot of time repairing and smoothing the edges where it was cut using modeling paste to integrate it and make it look like her hair. Then I painted her with first an acrylic underlay, and then in oils.
‘Reconciled’ is a mixed media sculptural oil painting with topographical relief map of Colorado, on cradled wood panel with 1 inch lightly stained sides. Topographic features of the artwork add an additional 1 inch of depth. It comes ready to hang, with picture wire attached, varnished, signed by the artist on the back, and with a certificate of authenticity.
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