In the Midwest it’s the season for burning. In the parks, the prairies are burned to help manage weeds, restore nutrients, and lead to more more desirable plant growth. I was participating in a restoration workday, hauling brush and playing with fire. Maybe that’s why I found Theodora Allen’s soft, muted artwork today.

Theodora AllenWildfire, No. 4, 2016
Theodora Allen

Allen applies thin layers of oil paint, slowly building up the painting. She then uses a soft cloth to systematically remove the paint.  What is left is the pigment that has been able to soak into the linen. The shadow of a painting, remaining, much as the memory of the blooming prairie hovers in the consciousness as the field is burning.

Theodora AllenWildfire, No. 1, 2014
Theodora Allen

“It’s a process that retains the traces of every decision – the material has a memory. It’s why the images in the paintings appear to be both forming and disappearing” -from an interview with Allen in ArtNews.

Theodora AllenCalendar, No. 2
Theodora Allen

Allen was featured this past winter at Strange Attractions, The Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Art Vol. 1 Life on Earth, a group show organized by Bob Nickas in Los Angeles,CA.  This month (April 2018) through May 2018 she is featured in Galleri Nicolai Wallner, in Denmark.

View her website:

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