By Molly Preston
Molly Preston My painting is color-based and color-centric. Even the narrative landscapes play with the possible/impossible expression of what the eye sees. Sheer exuberance is allowed, rules are broken, even the trite can be rendered anew. Fear has no place here. Joy can also be serious.
Painting allows me to filter the world’s pain through the lens of abstraction. I begin with reality and eliminate it bit by bit until I find a small safe place. There the viewer may stop, rest and experience joy before returning to her frantic world.
My work for the past twenty years has explored the limitless possibilities of color. Both in expressionistic landscapes and abstracts, color reigns. Occasionally high key, but often foiled by gray. I may begin with a grid, a landscape, or even a painting I have abandoned. Deconstructing the underlying imagery creates transitional areas, each gesture demands a response. Shapes interrupt lines and tonalities create tension. Many revisions later I walk away. Returning days, months, or years later the conversation resumes and often the painting is quickly resolved. My paintings feel like living things requiring my attendance, so much that it is only when I no longer own them that I am able to let them be. Then it's time for the viewer to begin the conversation.
As a part-time resident of Lopez Island (on Shark Reef road, no less) for 35+ years, the island’s many moods are my most influential source for imagery. Other influences are travel and the desert landscape of the Coachella Valley.
I returned to oil painting following degrees and careers in interior design and arts education. I paint nearly every day and even on the days I don’t I am pondering it, reading about it, looking at the light, considering the shadows, the negative space.
I have won awards for both my abstracts and expressionistic landscapes.
I am a gallery member of Women Painters of Washington, and The Desert Art Center, The Lopez Artist Guild and the Artists Council of the Coachella Valley. You can find more about me and my work at mollypreston.com