Observation through the act of seeing is like holding a mirror up and catching within its reflection both the other object and myself. When I paint, I induce a physical manifestation of the moment of recognition between myself and other objects. Through this intimate act, my paintings evidence the beauty of unity.
I find clarity in Andrew Wyeth’s reference to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Hamlet tells the theatrical players “not to exaggerate but to hold a mirror up to nature. Don’t overdo it, don’t overdo it. Do it just on the line.”
Within my portraits, the meticulously rendered illusion of life mirrors the tendency to project onto personal relationships a carefully constructed fantasy. Profile portraiture lends a simplicity, a calm, and a sophisticated straightforwardness. These characteristics allow me to infuse my own romantic fantasies without becoming exaggerated or disingenuous. The concoction of life-like detail, sfumato, and a Mannerist approach to color are key in translating the emotional quality of a sobering day-dream.
I paint easily believable projections of my relationships in an attempt to immortalize them. I want the viewer to recognize in the projection a moment when humanness was seen and sincerely honored. Through this recognition, the viewer feels their own humanity as an individual.
Ali Palin grew up in rural Vermont. After attending the University of Vermont for two years, she moved to Portland, Maine, to complete her BFA degree in painting from Maine College of Art. After graduating in May, 2015, she plans to drive to Prescott, Arizona, where she will live for the summer. She has been looking at Andrew Wyeth’s Helga series for inspiration, and plans on using a pad of paper and watercolors as a way of documenting and understanding her changing environment. The cross-country road trip will mark the start of the integration of her practice into her daily life by painting what is around her.
1. Drew, 2015, oil on panel, 20 x 24 inches
2. Brandon, 2015, oil on muslin, 22 x 26 inches
3. Alexae, 2015, oil on panel, 20 x 24 inches
4. Chelsea, 2014, watercolor on paper, 8 1⁄2 x 11 inches
5. Self Portrait with Ella, 2014, watercolor on paper, 8 1⁄2 x 11 inches
6. Studio Portrait