I am consciously developing my aesthetics within the history of Outsider Art , Chicago Imagists, modernism, landscape painting, graphic arts, and surrealism.  I am searching for new ways to tell my stories by experimenting with composition, scale, and repetition. I am interested in the peculiar qualities found in the mundane. The things I choose to paint are both heroic and pathetic. I am interested of extracting an “anima” locked within objects that describe a part of our human spirit.

The style of my work is a type of magical realism where the space is flat with an idiosyncratic perspective. The Block Party series portray quaint midcentury modern homes swallowed up by neon color fields. I began work on large mural depicting all 29 houses on my street called Block Party at my one month artist residency in Ucross, Wyoming. I felt that by painting all the homes on my street, I would somehow get to know the essence of  my new neighbors. As a result of the project, I created community awareness on my street and have indeed met most of my neighbors. I will be executing a similar project with the community in Synder, Texas concurrent with my exhibition at the Scurry Museum in 2013.

The painting, Fireflies, in the Block Party series, along with the participation in four artist residencies where the night sky was vast and powerful were catalysts for the Cosmos series. .  I am now combining my neighborhood midcentury modern homes in alternative landscapes. The Cosmos series includes over 30 paintings which are each 20”x 20” and each radial in design. Each painting utilizes graphic, sci-fi images of geology, outer space, and the ocean floor along with suburbia images to describe human vulnerability and spiritual redemption. I am interested in how the global human spirit can survive terrible natural and psychological disasters and still find the will to move forward. The dark premise for each painting is reconciled with images symbolizing hope. For example, a dark, rocky planet has an electronic rainbow inside, animal clouds try to brighten up dark spots on the sun, the black pelican pupil is still alive and recovers from the Gulf oil spill, and the planets align to counteract world anxiety. I can arrange each canvas like musical notes into a grander composition revealing many layers of meanings. I inject a humorous, subversive edge into my paintings to provide contrast, and relief from a solemn premise.


Elaine Pawlowicz