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Clearly the artist immerses herself in the experience of nature, working in its verdant and hilly midst at her New England farm throughout the spring, summer and fall. Hers certainly is a creative imagination engaging constantly with the joyfulness of being in nature, fully capable of teasing out of the earth the mystical forces that reside there, imprinting them on canvas with the colors and arrangements of space that come forth from the collision of observation and feeling. Her enchanting orchestrations provide constantly changing roles for colors and spatial expanses that, in combination, have the power to transport consciousness away from the concerns of everyday life, slow the quickness of perceived time, and open the consciousness to a sense of the sublime. There is a feeling of vital spontaneity in Mason’s abstractions that suffuses her work with engaging unpredictability and mystery that maintain its engaging sense of wonder. Invariably each work possesses a physical charm that imbues each painting with a unique personality. Her work evokes essences of experience, both the observed and the imagined. It discards the arguably superfluous. Her alluring color compositions and improvisational structures can appear almost as secret gateways to the unknown, like seductive pathways of light, color and texture opening to notions of the eternal and the universal. At its finest, one might argue that abstraction is a mode of vision enlivened by mystery. In Mason’s case, the mysterious is joyfully contained within her lyrical approach to forms and gestures. These she uses to tantalize and liberate the imagination with vagary and allusive possibility becoming the servants of enduring delight. To paraphrase what Emerson said about Pegasus, in a Mason painting “surprise and wonder always fly beside” it -- and without them a painting could not be a Mason. Wrapped in surprise is the essential vitality -- even ecstasy -- that gives her paintings such emotional power and lasting gratification. These qualities in Mason’s work activate the senses and delight the viewer no matter how often or how many times a painting is observed. Indeed, the experience of a work deepens and is enriched with time and repeated looking. A Mason painting can become a touchstone, full of allusions of beautiful places, activating pleasurable memories, and inspiring dreams of the future. Her distinctive brand of color abstraction has earned her a prominent place in the annals of American modernism. In her paintings there is a bit of magic that can make life better, enriched by beauty and enlivened by stimulation for eye and mind. – Kenneth R. Marvel 4

Profile for LewAllen Galleries

Emily Mason: Ripple Effect 2016  

Emily Mason: Ripple Effect 2016