Alison Van Pelt’s paintings inspire emotion, reflection, conversation

Alison Van Pelt’s paintings inspire emotion, reflection, conversation
Alison Van Pelt

Sometimes all it takes to be successful is to miss the mark. So did Allison Van Pelt.

Van Pelt studied art at UCLA, The Art Center, Otis Parsons, and the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, and was influenced by a variety of different sources, from Agnes Martin to Paramahansa Yogananda to Hunter S. Thompson, but Van Pelt found his final I found her unique style. She’s trying to copy Francis Bacon from 40 years ago.

“I was looking for a way in painting, but I had no direction. added. “I tried to make a little portrait like Francis Bacon, but it didn’t work. It just didn’t look like it. No matter how hard I tried, it came out a different way. I put it there, but people commented that it looked like a hologram.

Ultimately, she decided to accept her painting for what it is and see its beauty. ” she said.

However, she has not yet achieved her ideal.

“I am getting closer to my goal, so the more I master the craft, the more excited I am,” she said. “It’s a moving target.

Her enthusiasm and the practical fact that, like Bacon, she must “move the paint until it takes on another life,” keeps her working 24 to 48 hours a day. She starts working in the morning, works day and night, and continues until the next day.

She doesn’t like pushing away sleep deprivation, but it’s the only way to achieve the blurry effects she creates before the paint dries and becomes sticky.

She begins by painting portraits of notable subjects, from animals to prizefighters, celebrities, spiritual leaders, Native American warriors, and heads of state. Blur and reconstruct the image with oil on canvas, then add more paint and break it down until you get the desired effect.

“The goal of this process is to connect with and humanize her subject,” says Robert Casterline, co-owner of Aspen’s Casterline | Goodman Gallery. Beautiful, deliberately depraved, and mysteriously evocative: exquisite light and shadow, layers of paint, fuzzy yet meticulous brushstrokes, and her disciplined and meditative touch. Her painstaking technique, fused with , brings out the best in her subjects.

From a distance, the image looks blurry, so viewers are “forced to complete the image, and everyone fills in the blanks differently, which makes for an interesting conversation,” Van Pelt said. said.

If the viewer looks closely at the work, they can see the weave of the brushstrokes. Van Pelt feels particularly “proud” of her latest brushstrokes.

“I feel like I’ve reached a new sophistication,” she said. “Some of them look almost machine-made because they’re straight. They have just the right amount of detail, and they were so easy. My body is used to these brushstrokes, which made application easy.” It seems like the pictures just happened and I was helping them happen.

Her ultimate goal is to create holographic-style paintings that “look like you can reach them.” But whether they’re holographic enough for her or not, her paintings are still compelling.

“Allison’s unique and original painting style is beautiful,” says Casterline. “The soft style of the diverse subject matter makes the paintings fit well in our gallery.”

In fact, the gallery, which has only recently signed Van Pelt as primary artist, has recreated the walls of her studio, down to the number and length of shelves, to display her small paintings.

Van Pelt’s exhibition, titled “The Wild,” also highlights her powerful large-scale statement pieces, from hummingbirds and trees to horses, spiritual leaders and the graceful, energetic body movements of women. . Each painting reflects some kind of wildness, perhaps depicting aspens swaying in a summer breeze, wild horse streams, or hummingbirds vibrating in flight.

“I use art and beauty to get my message across to the masses. I’m mostly driven by emotion,” said Van Pelt. “I can be moved by joy, desire, longing, nostalgia, awe, admiration, love, sometimes anger, even anger. But the urge to choose a subject is instinctive: I am drawn to images.”

Some of the works also highlight the more holographic imagery she is aiming for, conveying a clear evolution from the original blurry paintings. But all her work inspires reflection.

“Allison’s paintings are imbued with light and shadows inspired by California sunlight that I feel are very much related to the natural beauty and brilliance of the mountains of Aspen,” said Casterline. “Her work, painted in blurry oil on canvas, invites the viewer to ponder, allowing each person to find their own interpretation of every piece.” has many layers and reflects her impeccable technique, offering the observer great dialogue and reflection.”

“Green Tree” by Alison Van Pelt.
Photo provided
A tribute to Alison Van Pelt and her mentor.
Courtesy Casterline | Goodman Galleries
“Wild Hair” by Alison Van Pelt.
Courtesy of Casterline|Goodman Gallery.
“Teal Hummingbird” by Alison Van Pelt.
Courtesy of Casterline|Goodman Gallery.


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