Theresa Marchetta

Thu Jan 11, 2007 - Sat Feb 17, 2007

Orange, blue, every shade of brown, bright yellow, light purple. Although you can make out cavernous tourist destinations in the paintings, color is the real subject of Retreat, an exhibition of large-scale paintings by Theresa Marchetta.  Marchetta uses cave imagery, which is at once representational and abstract, as a jumping off point to investigate color. The intricate rock formations provide shapes into which Marchetta pours pigmented varnish, expanding the possibility of painting.

The result: an iridescent explosion of color.

The Process

After preparing a panel, I start by making a contour drawing. This is when I work out the entire composition of the painting. I then put down a wax mixture, closely following the drawing; with a method similar to the way pastry chefs use bags of icing. This creates a low relief that I let dry for at least a week. I use several different mixtures of clear varnishes and polymer mediums that I tint with inks before pouring them into the negative spaces created by the wax lines. When I mix colors on a painting it is always wet into wet, while the layering of colors can happen only after the bottom layer is completely dry.