The Studio Window:  Disaster Series
 
Paintings in this series present a view through my studio window (or through the mirror there) of natural disasters including tornados, tsunamis, fire, lightening, volcanoes, earthquakes, avalanches and more.  In Rampant, a tsunami is about to overwhelm my work space.  Each painting examines extreme threat personified as an overwhelming natural disaster issuing from the outside world.  Nature is a powerful energy, capable of quicksilver change and myriad manifestations, all of which we frequently deny. 
Each disaster appears in realistic, luminous color and meticulous detail, and moves from outdoors into my studio interior.  Stylistically, these disasters painted in watercolor contrast radically with the graphic drawing style I use to depict my interior studio space – the blind contour technique.  These interior views of the studio (and accompanying crucial objects from our daily lives) remain pristinely white, with a minimal illusion of space. 
Electric technological devices and machines such as a laptop, cell phone, coffee maker, and lights become undone and dissipated by the very drawn line that creates them.
In each painting, insects appear as the bridge or interface between the exterior and the interior and navigate both.  Cockroaches, cocoons of larvae, spiders, fireflies and other bugs co-inhabit our domain and represent a more highly evolved response to the threats of nature than humans.  On several levels, this series merges the sublimity of nature with the lowest species as a metaphor for destruction and survival.
 
Margaret Keller
2018
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