Featured Gallery: Art Attack SF > Ritual, by Heather McFarlin
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Oil on canvas
48" x 36"
This painting was inspired by my early morning rituals, which include chai tea, writing (‘morning pages’ from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way), and, as a focal point in this painting, spin class. The orange and pinks juxtaposed with the darker blue-blacks symbolize the sunrise in Sausalito, where I face east and watch the
gorgeous, ever-changing sunrise over Richardson Bay and Angel Island. These morning hours are inspirational and sacred, and set the day. Music is also very inspirational for me. The title ‘Ritual’ was inspired by Ellie Goulding’s song with the same name.
About the Artist:
Sausalito-based artist Heather McFarlin walks around with eyes, ears, and senses open, letting the impressions and imprints of her surroundings wash over and through her, and eventually end up on the expressive playing field of her canvas. Finding the most interest in the blending of vibrant beauty with imperfection and vulnerability, McFarlin takes viewers into a realm that is a bit off-kilter and out of perspective. Often the surreal juxtaposition of subjects, shapes, or energetic marks are reminiscent of a dream-state, fairytale, or rearranged reality. Her colorful paintings are akin to storytelling or narration, only each viewer will certainly have a different interpretation. Each piece is rich with symbolism, color, movement, and tonality.
The dynamic quality of her work can invoke a new interpretation or sighting after multiple viewings. Like the Surrealist painters of the Modernist movement--Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Andre Breton-- McFarlin engages in a process similar to that of “automatic drawing.” She approaches the canvas with no purpose or plan of what will come about, but allows an emotion, situation, or theme to act as the inspiration; she simply allows what unfolds to happen, giving expression to the subconscious mind, or giving form to the formless. In essence, this de-emphasizes the role of the conscious mind so that a different level of intelligence--subconscious or unconscious--can emerge. McFarlin works primarily with oil on canvas, often integrating graphite, enamel, or acrylic paint.
Keeping it fresh on the West Coast. Art Attack SF is an art space for contemporary work and community-minded pop-up events. The gallery features rotating exhibitions of emerging artists primarily from the Bay Area and surrounding West Coast. Established in 2012, the gallery is located in San Francisco’s vibrant Castro district.