ARTisSpectrum Vol. 31, May 2014 - page 57

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 31 | artisspectrum.com
57
I
n her drawings and paintings,
Charlotte Lisboa
mixes “touches of
impressionism and abstraction” with realism. The artist cites a broad
range of influences, from Renoir to Rothko, and her images incorporate
those inspirations in a fresh way. Working in a variety of media, from oil
paints on canvas and linen to graphite on paper, she creates works that
capture the immediate physicality of the women she depicts and the
contemplative mood that they project.
Yet realism is just the point of departure for her work. Moving forward
from her training in figure drawing, she adds a strong feel for texture,
movement and color to the precision with which she renders her figures.
She combines a slight softness of focus with a sharp eye for movement
and composition, giving her images a palpable sense of life as well as a
presence that suggests a world outside the limits of day-to-day reality.
The artist says she aims to take her subjects “out of the context in which
they exist,” and by showing them against backgrounds of pure color
and pattern she not only creates another world for them, but turns our
attention towards their internal lives. The resulting works achieve her goal
of representing “humanity with strokes of an ethereal atmosphere.”
Oceanair Oil on Canvas 36” x 24”
Charlotte Lisboa
I
nspired by dreams, people, nature, colors and light, Finnish artist
Raija Merilä
creates exemplary expressions of the human form.
She uses shadow and light in muted pastels to evoke both sensuality
and emotion. Through contemplative and reflective posing, she
establishes a narrative that subtly draws the viewer into each
painting. Her primary medium, oil on canvas, sometimes gives way
to expressions in charcoal, pearls and sand. One can draw oblique
comparisons to the saints and beatific figures found in the works of
Rembrandt, Toulouce-Lautrec, Chagall and other classic masters.
In portraying human figures, Merilä employs live models or photos.
“A perfect copy is not the goal,” she insists. “Instead, the colors and
lights are more important.” The result is a series of images in which
the artist succeeds in elevating portrait beyond mere depiction.
Her ability to choreograph the human form in varying shades and
tones imparts an unrestrained humanism to each piece. Skin tones
appear aglow in ambient light, while luminosity radiates from the
countenance of the subjects facing us. The accent is always on the
sublime human form, with all its curves, textures and hues.
Veera Oil and Sand on Canvas 39.5” x 31.5”
Raija Merilä
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