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“… Each artwork feels like a fresh encounter with a very specific person at a very specific moment in his or her life. I intuit that this individual has been truly, intimately, profoundly seen by the painter and this deep knowing is transferred to me as the viewer through the magic of strokes of granular pigment interwoven on pumice board. And yet, at the same time, I am confronted by the unknowability of this person presented before me, an entire universe within this other whose internal world is shrouded in mystery. My experience of Ellen Eagle’s paintings is that of holding these contradicting sensations simultaneously in the moment of apprehension: I both marvel at the inscrutability and delight at the sense of intimate familiarity.”
My paintings evolve slowly, contemplatively. When I am painting a portrait from life, the subject and situation which are most compelling to me, I like to work in near silence. I like my model to almost forget I am there. Inevitably, during the course of the sittings, as the model drifts in thought, he or she experiences emotions both deeply felt and lighthearted. I respond to the body’s subtle expression of those emotions.
This requires very careful and sustained observation. Fidelity to my subject’s particular qualities is a blissful practice for me. Of course, I see through the filter of my own temperament.
I always work in natural light. The most exquisite expression of light I have seen is in the radiance of flesh. The timeless and fleeting human subject as seen in the eternal and ever changing light.