today is the best day to translate a poem into the language of trees
or learn the facial expressions of stones
– Микита Рижих
I haven’t been hungry in months
Ok I’m excited for breakfast!
I smashed my head like a potato
I want eggs and an English muffin
I will only wake for breakfast
I will also have sausage and coffee
-Claire Dougherty, from Don’t Laugh
Where did it go, the small body and its mouth?
What beetles fed from it, what weeds
deepened with its help?
-Marney Rathburn, from THIS TIME THAT YEAR
Dream of gently spinning coracle, of hash in a tin box, of open circuit,
of closed. Dream of navel tether, of paper horse unfurling: muted blue.
Painter Marie Bender highlights the beauty of form, and the joy of color and light in her work. She believes in celebrating the everyday, every day. Her inspiration comes from commonplace, ordinary things; a sea shell, a carpenter’s plumb, a glass bowl. Her intent is to ignite a sense of awe and wonder in the viewer, to make them smile and help them see the extraordinary beauty of the world in which we live. But her paintings are also poetic opportunities for discovering not-so commonplace meaning, symbolism and metaphor; whether inherent to the archetypes of her assembled objects and animals, or brought to the paintings to be made visible by the subconscious of the viewer. Much like a good poem, the layers of the work reward careful reading, attention and time. New details and connections become apparent with each visit.
Although she sometimes uses photo references, Marie most often works from life, setting objects on a table in her Ambler studio. She combines the inanimate with the animate, introducing birds, insects and other small creatures to her assemblages; the still becomes not-so-still. The artist maintains a varied collection of preserved species— roadkill or otherwise found bodies, collected and preserved so that she may examine for more precise information when making her work. Most of the wildlife she paints is native to the northeastern United States. Her home is surrounded with feeders and birdbaths, giving her ample opportunity to observe and record, study and reflect.