Text by Tessa Green, taken from Pauline’s website
Individual, colourful, sensitive, humorous, sensual, spontaneous and adventurous. Pauline’s art is an extension of her personality and the same description applies to both. Throughout her career as a printmaker and painter Pauline has responded to her environment and, since moving permanently to Hydra nine years ago, she has naturally turned to her surroundings for source material and inspiration.
She has, I think, been teetering on the brink of pure abstraction for some time, but unable to resist the temptation of that horizontal line. There is a seduction in the familiar, a safety, and it would have been easier for her to carry on ploughing that same furrow, it worked after all, and those paintings, dynamic and evocative, brought memories of Greece to many a dark Northern wall. But that isn’t Pauline, she likes to take risks. I ask about the process.
“I start by laying down colour, I throw it on actually, mixing the paint from pure pigments myself, then moving the canvas round on the floor, not using a brush. Then at a certain point, I’ll decide it’s ready to go on the wall and start working with brushes or even my fingers, taking off colour with rags, very much in the way I’ve always worked. But the difference is that I’m just intuitively following the marks and colours, there’s no idea of consciously relating it to something else. The other big change is that, whereas before I was using just three colours, now I’m working with 6 or 7”.
Earlier she’d shown me the painting that had set her off down this path. It was a large square canvas evoking a cloudy sunset. But there was something new, a strand of bright red.
“I threw it on, it could have been sheer desperation – here I am doing another greyish landscape.” But it was that red Cadmium Vermillion pigment, and the way she’s applied it that opened the door to these new, exciting paintings, works that are not representations of the material world in a literal sense, but are very definitely of this place and this time.”
If you would like to ask Pauline about her work, visit her studio, or discuss sales or commissions, please visit her website at Pauline Keaney or contact her using the form provided here.