Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Artist Highlight: Helen DeRamus

Helen DeRmus, Strolling Deeper, encaustic and silk on cradled panel
Image courtesy of the artist

Appreciating the power of silence during a Hambidge Residency, my current series includes drawings, monotypes and paintings. The paintings and monotypes are created using encaustic paint while the drawings are India ink, lith crayon and watercolor on paper, with encaustic medium as well. While immersed in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I started the series with a hundred drawings and innumerable photographs now the impetus for the present ongoing series of images and video.

With an admiration for the dignity of the landscape, this series is a journey and renewal of the spirit. The inspiration derives from a close observation not only of the physical landscape but also of the intangibles. This journey is now encompassing layers of memory as well.
The color palette began with the almost watery blue tint I observe in the birch bark along the paths in the mountain forests along with the rusty siennas and grays, and the greens of the pines pierced with a scattering of golds. As the series continues from my first observations in the winter, new textures and hues are beginning to appear encompassing each season of the year. The temporal quality of the images are important to me, often using line and compositional elements to portray that quality.  I like to think that the images are a meditation on the passage of time.

A strong component of these paintings is my continuing interest in the alternating themes of strength and fragility and to convey that theme with the imbedding of organza photographic prints as well as monotypes on rice paper. 

Helen DeRamus

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