Unfolding Her | Oil on Paper
Various | Oil on Canvas
Cats Cradle | Oil on Canvas | 120 x 150 cm
Half Time | Oil on Canvas | 600 x 700 cm
I have been painting with oil paint and oil sticks on canvas since November last year. Ironically this seems to a “heavier” medium than acrylic and my intention was to layer and move quite quickly while working. Water move s more easily and the physical moving of colour across the surface by tilting and manoeuvring the canvas while the pigment is floating in the water gives the image mobility.
The “walk in” series came first. I based the composition on a drawing that Auerbach did from a Rembrandt painting. This moved into a “cat’s cradle” made by diagonal lines crossing the surface and holding the images quite symmetrically. I started them vertically as in the drawings but they work more comfortably horizontally than vertically. As usual, the practise of painting and the moving of colour took me away from my initial intention. The line/mark is embedded and floating in this almost colour field series. I would like to see them together as they interact empathetically, quietly and reduce the frequency of everyday life.
The “Walk About” series are larger and quite joyful. Made in response to the chaotic, relentless, challenging, rigorous social environment that we are faced with daily I had the energy to “mess” with colour and weave, twist, thread it, stitch and embed it but keep it fresh. These hours spent seeking rhythms and pulses are not chaotic at all if I allow my eye to wander.
The wooden pieces are a collaboration with my father. He makes these very delicate frames from off cuts in his carpentry workshop and sends them to me to paint and build. They have considerable effect on my “flat “ work as I try to draw the eye into and behind and beyond the surfaces. There are many of them; they enchant and intrigue. I try to make them exquisite and have nearly found this in some of them.
Thanks from Jill
AVA gallery | Oil on paper | 18th to 28th January 2018 | Familiar places x 8 | 2012 | 77.5 x 53 cm
In November 2012 Trappler exhibited 8 large (175 x 270 cm) canvases at Knysna fine art. These were extraordinary still, beautiful images emphasizing her skill with the visceral, vibrancy of colour and the hovering of embedded line. The 8 oil paintings on paper now at the AVA were made at the same time as these large works. Recently Trappler has been working with a similar exuberance, libido and liveliness with oil on large canvases which relates back to the smaller work made five years ago. This is the way that her work unfolds through time, finding threads and rhythms that revisit, resurface and explore fresh yet familiar locations.
The abstract painter often has to endure, among other suspicions, the coupled questions, “what is it?” and “what does it mean?” Most of us shy away from answering these questions directly because they are simply the wrong questions and should never, in any event, be directed at the painter. The task of the abstract painter, as I see it, is not communication. It is rather to create a space for communion as in “feel this presence and participate in it.” This is cerebral and sensuous. Cerebral in the sense that decisions taken in the making can be seen and read and sensuous in the sense that the painter’s flavours are evident and exposed. As in Jill’s case:
A bustle of wee eddies | A clutch of tiny turmoils | The scent of rose and lavender.
“I paint large pictures because I want to create a state of intimacy. A large picture is an immediate transaction; it takes you into it.” (Mark Rothko)
For Jill Trappler an invitation by Trent Read to create and exhibit eight paintings, approximately two metres by three, in his Knysna gallery, stimulated new ideas and different approaches.
Much changed, while at the same time echoes of her large paintings of 2009, entitled ‘moments of being’, linger – the dominance of a single colour in each work and the relatively thin layers of paint, the water-based pigment now applied with greater looseness and a sense of freedom; the years of experience that reside in Trappler’s hands and the concomitant awareness of formal elements, such as scale, colour, shape and equilibrium….
Complete essay by Marilyn Martin.
Working notes from Jill Trappler’s journal