Spring Series

New Work of Christine Ilewski

By Michael Paradise

Christine Ilewski’s new acrylic paintings on stretched patterned fabrics and panels of birch are celebrations of female adolescence in vibrant colors. She often uses the metaphor of spring to suggest, in Christine’s words, “The incipience of womanhood where there is great beauty and vulnerability all wrapped in one.” In other paintings we see a young girl contemplating adult female marionettes more then she seems to be playing with them. In many of the paintings we see the bond of sisterhood, which seems personal and universal as well as metaphoric and actual. In “sisters_horizWind” we see the younger of two girls comfortably reclining with her legs propped high and resting on those legs is the outstretched right arm of the older girl. Big sister’s other arm completes the circle of concentric energy between the two of them with her left hand supporting the head and in the hair of her little sister.

The direction of paint and visual energy of Ilewski’s brush strokes amalgamate well with the content. Layers of transparent color from every direction of the spectrum painted on printed fabric create a multitude of subtle nuances. Ilewski takes a different approach on birch. Here a more limited palette reflects more elemental compositions allowing an obvious presence of the wood grain. Ilewski uses the natural element of the board effectively as environment. In “robin” it serves as landscape, atmosphere and wind. Among massive cherry blossoms, a very young lady sits with confidence on a limb seemingly too thin to hold her. The wood grain wind feels blustery and seems to shake a colossal blossom from the twig of its mooring. But the girl is relaxed and her stare goes way past the boarders of the painting. Her posture exudes mostly strength.

You may click each image for details and a closer look.


On the Brink




Puppets I

Puppets II




Dogwood 1

Dogwood 2

Blood From a Stone



Puppets I

Puppets II