A series of tree inspired works by well known artist Mimo Gordon Riley will be on display at Home and Hospice Care of RI May through August 2011. These paintings celebrate the artist's fascination with her subject.
Gordon Riley feels "trees are so ubiquitous that we may fail to notice their majesty, importance and beauty." Working in oil on multiple canvases at one time allows the artist to delve deeply into her subject matter, transforming them into more simplified graphic forms and intensifies with the addition of her unique saturated color palette. She studied at the Museum School in Boston and graduated from the Portland School of Art, (now MECA), and has exhibited and earned recognition throughout New England and Washington DC, this past fall having a three woman show at the Newport Art Museum. A resident of Providence, Gordon Riley maintains studios in Pawtucket and Maine.
With roots deep in the soil and branches reaching for the sky, trees remind me of the Sufi men I saw whirling in Turkey several years ago, one hand pointed up toward heaven and the other down to earth.
As I continue to observe and paint trees, I am reminded of how ever-present they are in my life, every day. Growing up and living in the northeastern US, I am surrounded by trees. Sometimes I see them individually: a magnificent single presence against a clear sky, but as I often do with groups of people, at times I lose sight of the lone tree, focusing more on the crowded room or the forest. This green collective surrounds me, comforts me in my visual landscape any time I open my eyes. I try not to take them for granted.
I love the ubiquitous green that identifies trees, the green that I yearn for in early spring, and am ready to let go by fall. But when I paint them, I find myself sometimes pushing out from the familiar green into new colors, new ways of seeing.
I am intrigued by the overall shape of leaf over leaf and the light peeking in between them; at times the small pieces of light become more important than the leaves, needles, or fronds themselves, and I am uncertain whether the true subject of my painting is the tree or the light.
- Mimo Gordon Riley