Marian Keeler

I am a former architect and environmental building consultant and have for many years engaged with the built environment’s impact to human and ecological health. A balanced and healthy ecosystem is easily recognizable, though not always beautiful. A shattered one is equally so, but sometimes oddly beautiful. The colors can be surprising---lush, layered and profound in their range and depth of value and intensity.

The springboard for my work derives from William Yeats’ observation that “things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.” Yeats was alluding to the industrial revolution, how human-imposed systems and processes break down in nature, both destroying and being destroyed. As they intervene in today’s natural world, these industrial structures often cause large scale and lasting fragmentation to the environment. Spills from dye factories, effluents from industrial hog farming, agricultural run-off to the Gulf of Mexico and other environmental disasters form much of my reference imagery. The irony is that these industrial accidents and spills often result in intense color fields, sparking an uncomfortable beauty despite their unnatural contexts.

In the attempt to convey this uncomfortable beauty, where landscapes are changed from their natural and balanced conditions, I work in an abstract expressive form, focusing on movement and directionality. Using varied brushwork and poured or pooled fluid paint, I am drawn to the arial view, flattened yet layered.

I work primarily in acrylic, but use elements of charcoal, graphite, and gold and silver leaf in many paintings. I also use found objects as print surfaces that I ink and then use to print a texture, or to layer subtle graphic fragments and small interventions within the painting.

For a viewer, I want the experience of my paintings to draw them in, to engage them in a temporal process where they gradually comprehend the implied references of my work.

drake painting 1.jpg

Bend in the River

drake painting 1.jpg

River Pools

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