Jumped out of my comfort zone with this vibrant color combination. My intention with this piece was to paint something that lifted my spirit every day in my studio. I hope the joy I felt creating this translates to the view and someday to a forever home. Enjoy each and every day my friend!
“Riches, prestige, everything can be lost. But the happiness in your heart can only be dimmed; it will always be there as long as you live, to make you happy again. Whenever you’re feeling lonely or sad, try going to the loft on a beautiful day and looking outside. Not at the houses and the rooftops, but at the sky. As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you’ll know that your pure within and will find happiness once more.” -Anne Frank
Painting Titled: “Beautiful Day”, 60” x 48”, DM for details
We all have the potential to be happy and compassionate people, and on the flip side we also have potential to be harmful to others. This potential is present within each one of us. Mahatma Gandhi once said “It is good to see ourselves as others see us. Try as we may, we are never able to know ourselves fully as we are, especially the evil side of us.” I see the truth in this statement.
Positive actions give us inner strength, less fear, and more self-confidence. This extends our sense of caring to others without any barriers, whether religious, cultural or otherwise. We all have the potential to grow the good. If we start with ourselves and lead with an open heart, imagine the type of world we would be living in. This painting leans towards a more minimalistic composition and is titled “Open Heart”, 36”sq, Reach out for details firstname.lastname@example.org.
I n painting after painting in Shilo Ratner’s soon-ending solo exhibition at DaSilva Gallery, big blocks of color meet contrasting angles and lines and bands. Together, they suggest a grand experiment in which the artist seems to be working out a pattern, using shapes and colors to reach a deeper sense of order.
There’s repetition in the obtuse angles, knife-edged lines and flat
fields. But each time, the treatment is a little bit different, like
multiple attempts at a tangram puzzle in which you try first one
solution, then another. Does the large block belong at the top of the
canvas, compressing the thinner lines below? Does it belong at the
bottom, with an accumulation of thinner lines above? Or should it,
perhaps, float in the center or even higher?
In Looking Up at the Open Sky, a “horizon” line tips ever so
slightly, to vertiginous effect. Other lines compensate by tipping in
the opposite direction, but it’s hard to find the level. With a large,
pale blue block of color dominating the top of the canvas, the
experience of looking up at the sky and losing touch with the ground is
Shifting Waters shifts the experiment with a dominating dark
wall that slices diagonally through the canvas in shades of brown and
green striped with red. Like the horizon in Open Sky, this
partition is unsettling; each of its bands of color locates the wall’s
corner in a different place. A segmented gray shape follows it like a
sidewalk. In the background, cheerful blues peek through.
Only two of the show’s 16 paintings break the pattern to include a
portion of a circle, partially obscured by horizontal lines, which calls
to mind a rising or setting sun. Seeing these pieces last might make
the circles an element of surprise, but one is displayed in the front
window and the other just inside the door. Their placement seems to
instruct us to think of the more squared geometric images that follow as
doing the same: overlapping and obscuring one another, just as the
circle is obscured by the lines that hide its completion.
Sure enough, on closer examination, Ratner’s paintings are more
layered and subtle than they first appear. Return for a second look and
then a third; even more layers emerge. It’s as if the closer you step to
these works, the farther in they draw you. For example, once you notice
them, subtle banded and triangular ghosts behind an ivory block of
color in Temple of the Moon give the unexpected effect of sunlight casting a quiet shadow.
Ratner sees her artwork as a form of meditation. Her painting process
begins each day with Japa meditation, which uses sound repetition in
the form of mantras that put her in a positive frame of mind to approach
the canvas intuitively. “I just start with a shape,” she says. She
draws on her formal art education—a knowledge of color and brush
technique, for example—but mostly, she says, the paintings “sort of just
evolve on their own. They have their own voice, and I try to just bring
it out on the canvas.”
The colors she chooses—tiger orange, sapphire blue, sunny
yellow—excite the eye, and yet the way her shapes hug tight and her
lines stretch straight conveys a sense of stability. Even when she’s
tipping us off balance, the tilt feels more playful than precarious.
The net positive effect is intentional, Ratner says. She names some of the things that are tilting our global society today—climate change, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia. “I try to bring beauty into the world,” she says. “[I’m] not saying that I’m not aware of everything that’s happening, but I’m trying to put something out there that doesn’t have that angst, so I when I’m creating the work, I want to create these calm visions, kind of this optimistic view of the world I see in the chaotic times we’re living in.”