Flight of Gabriel, oil on canvas, 36 x 60 in, 2017 - 18
Margy Lavelle: The Flight of Gabriel
A new body of work continuing the exploration of news images that have resonated with the artist. Layers of oil paint are built up and scraped back until the final distilled essence emerges.
"My paintings don't start out with a story line but they often end up with one. When I go into the studio it is with the anticipation to move paint around. I paint in oil with a palette knife and a limited palette. I look forward to mixing gobs of paint and laying it on the canvas, smooshing it down and scraping it off, watching the various sheens and textures emerge and the subtle color changes that come from never mixing the same batch twice. There is usually an image that stuck in my brain a while back that I lay down in charcoal first - but that initial inspiration may be long gone from the final work. If the mood of it remains, I am successful.
This newest body of work was completed in the past 18 months. Recently while painting I was remembering how I believed in archangels as a small child. At least Gabriel and Michael. And they were big strong muscular men. Protectors and fighters for the good. I remembered it was a consolation for me to invoke them when I or others needed help. So in hindsight it appears that I have been inserting my own symbols of grace (a moon, a cup, a window, a house) onto these devastated landscapes or night skies. Thus the title."
Margy Lavelle, Girl Box, 24 x 36 in, oil on canvas
"I was laid up with pneumonia last winter. There were 2 months with lots of bed rest, too much world news and too little studio time. So I painted in my kitchen with a brush and produced a small suite of oil studies based on images of homeless camps and refuge shelters. I found a kind of beauty and grace in how they were constructed. Not to mention humanity. They were tender in a way the news could not convey."
Margy Lavelle , L.A., oil on panel, 10 x 10 in, 2018