Clear and transparent with calm yet full of enticing energy to bring you closer. I liken this painting to a crystal with clear unfettered areas that are also, on closer reflection, made up of tiny particles. Icy like a fractured frozen puddle. Fluid, like water or glass. Hard, yet cut to shine and catch light. Imperfections give an unexpected glimmer. There’s a lightness within Crystalline that imparts serenity. Built up with many layers of glazes that allow underlying structure to come through, the painting draws the viewer in to look underneath as well as around to the layered textures that impart vitality.
I love uncovering things and the mystery within layers. Guiding the eye are white lines that free flow and yet are also purposely used in areas to fracture the plane and create another layer of depth. Applying other lines while larger passages are damp, allow for free edges that wisp into spaces and add another visual interest. I’ve been told by collectors that they love seeing new areas as they live with the paintings that previously they hadn’t seen. I do that to keep visual freshness and interest! That’s why an area may be opaque over an area that’s transparent. Or a passage that is very textured will be near a flat area. Cool color areas of blue, aqua and greens are juxtaposed with warm greens, magentas and some pink undertones. Controlled paint passages are found near spontaneously applied painted spaces. Contrasts are important for movement within a painting. This painting has a solid base with the textural dark area at the bottom so it feels grounded and fed from below while held to the sides by fine darker toned lines to anchor it from floating away into the light fractures above. ” – Patty Ripley on Crystalline, available at The Avenue Gallery, Victoria, BC
“Spirit Ridge is a culmination of experiences and is an abstraction that allows the viewer to feel these. Avidly hiking these past years in the Pacific Northwest and California, I notice how yes, the ridge point, tends to be the pinnacle of the hike. It’s where the culminated effort and forward momentum comes to a stop (and many times food or snacks are involved!). The body slows and relaxes and even if the view is diminished by weather, there’s a peacefulness that pervades as you become attuned to the silence and the surroundings. And that peacefulness often follows you back down the trail as you notice with fresh eyes the new vistas from a new direction.
I take these experiences back to the studio. Not consciously, though internally, and they become the expression that fuels the choice of color, texture, line, contrast and movement within the composition. It becomes a channeled transmission of an adventure. With Spirit Ridge, I had a sense of a totem during the process as I began to see shapes emerge within the painting: An animal staring to the right; water element running below all; light traveling through forest above; and the stability of rock within.
How do you know when the painting is done? For me, it’s like the last puzzle piece that falls into place and that feeling of ease from completion becomes almost a feeling of neutrality where I know nothing more can be added. This painting has a lot of texture and when I thought it was done, I’d return to studio and realize that it’s not there yet and I know because I feel unease, literally, in my body. They say the body knows so I’ve been respecting that inner wisdom. Much like the ease felt at the top of the ridge after a long climb.” – Patty Ripley on Spirit Ridge, available at The Avenue Gallery, Victoria, BC
“Have you tried to see through the powerful mist? Listened to the force of the water cascading? Felt the droplets spray your face? That’s the power and beauty behind the veil of the falls. I remember once in Hawaii standing behind a tall waterfall and being showered by it’s spray! Here on the west coast, large falls draw crowds and create nervous anticipation. The strength of water is amazing with it’s carving force and flowing grace. In this painting, I created contrast with small calm areas this time and more texture and variety in bigger areas. Soft yellow starts at the base and then carries the eye up to the ridge line. There’s a kaleidoscope effect in this piece as passages angle in and out. Shapes move and it’s unclear why. Drips happen. Controlled and not controlled. Charcoal lines push firmer darks. Angles are oblique and squared. Is that a cliff? Is that a waterfall? Where’s the water going? I love creating questions for the viewer. An experience to behold while imparting a feeling at the same time. I see a face….someone says. I see a ridge, mist and water and it’s being held in from all around…. says another. We experience paintings like we experience life; varied and as our own. Pushing our view on another is fruitless and staying fluid is important. Being like water. Going with the flow yet being a powerful force at the same time. And seeing beyond what’s there. Behind the words is usually the truth. How often do we go behind the falls and look out at the distorted beauty? Or experience a new reality by putting ourselves in challenging places? Veil Of The Falls reminds me to do these. Take risks. Look for beauty beyond. ” – Patty Ripley on Veil Of The Falls, available at The Avenue Gallery, Victoria, BC