For many years the focus of my work had been social commentary especially relating to gender issues. Even through portraiture I would tell a story, painting the figure in abstract places and cows in inexplicable surroundings. I have used animals as a metaphor for women in general and me in particular. My work has often strayed into the world of surrealism by the unexpected use of color and incongruous settings.
Two years ago I challenged myself to produce a series of paintings in the formalist manner. I have come to call these Biologiks. This is a departure from the allegories I had been doing earlier. My practice always included a strong attention to color and design. This new approach to painting, painting without narrative, emerged effortlessly from previous endeavors.
Initially, I approached this subject by focusing on the egg shape, another metaphor I suppose. One thing led to another. Some images became abstractions while others reflected my subconscious. Scale can be microscopic or cosmic. Most have biological references though not of the real world but that of my imagination. The common thread in much of my work throughout my life is the surreal.
Artists who have influenced me greatly include Van Gogh for his lush color palette and Magritte for his imaginative forays into surrealism. When I started to try to comprehend this recent body of work I looked to Miro for an better understanding of what I have accomplished. He gave all who followed permission to explore.
My greatest joy has been to balance color which can be a complex and painstaking task. In creating Biologiks, color, line and form have become my consummate concern.
©All images copyright of Sheila Smith.