Melinda Cootsona might be considered the Intimiste of figurative abstraction. Her paintings are reminiscent of Bonnard and Vuillard in their depiction of private intimate moments in a personal life and world. They are abstracted portraits of everyday life. Her colors are soft and creamy with pleasing contrasts. Cootsona's paintings often contain a single figure though occasionally two figures appear as in Same Coin, with twin figures seated in a garden landscape merging contours of the land with the shapes of a human form.
“The Map Is Not The Territory” – Alfred Korzybski
The painting, the drawing, the map, is not the person, the object, or the place.
What you see in the final layer of my work is a culmination of the multitude of decisions that lie beneath. My work is meant to be both known and unkown; recognizable and mysterious, always with underlying layers and depth to be discovered. What makes up the territory is not always easily discernable. What defines us as individuals is more than our surface appearance.
All of my paintings begin as an abstract. Beneath their surface exist a minimum of five to six layers of multi-colored shapes, marks and inscriptions. I continue to build the layers by both simplifying the images, and adding new shapes with multiple materials, including oil bars, oil pens, and graphite. I also use squeegees and spatulas that scrape away paint to reveal the marks beneath. These layers of color, shape and line become both hidden and revealed as they evolve into the final image.
Ironically, when I paint using the buttery oils, bars, brushes and canvas, the work becomes the territory, both tactile and tangible. Strokes, marks, and textures create a three-dimensional “territory” on the canvas. The “map” that these layers create is analogous to the crossroads in our lives that make up who we are.