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 Allen muted paintingsWildfire, 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 Allen muted paintingsWildfire, 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 Allen muted paintingsCalendar, 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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