My artistic mind is split into two directions: Painting and Photography.


As a figurative painter, my work is narrative. Drawing is its foundation. The figure lies at it’s heart. Color plays an essential role. Line is essential. I work quickly and spontaneously in an effort to imbue the life into life drawing.

My recent work is a series called Totems, incorporating themes of the spiritual and the mythological. This process has lead to an investigation of societies that incorporate concepts of totemism and animism as an essential part of their cultures. (A totem is a spirit, being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people. Animism is the religious belief that objects, places and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence.) My preoccupation and artistic examination of the concepts of human and animal, myth and religion, life and death, have led to the work seen here.

This process lies somewhere between painting and sculpture, combining canvases of various sizes to create “totems”. Scale plays a significant role, as do particular animals and birds and the powers attributed to them. The evolution of the work has lead to the exploration of horizontal totems as well as deconstructed totems. Of late, found objects such as feathers, seed pods and bones have been incorporated.

My photography is almost a polar opposite: employing a monochromatic palette, focusing solely on landscape and veering off into abstraction. Like Monet in his garden, for the past seven years, I have been focusing on one particular place, exploring the effects of the elements: weather, and light to create Zen-like meditations on the physical world, to create photographs look like paintings.





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© patti goldberg ettinger 2019