Old wine in new skins or old skins for new wine? I purchased this antique frame for Ms. Thunder Daisy, an oil painting from 2014. In the Spring of that year wild daisies (Bellis perennis) flourished on the edges of woods and roadsides. Even around Chicago's highways, this beauty sprung up to gaze in wonder at the world, and I gazed back. This piece is very ornate and sculptural as you can see from the side view pictured below, 20" high by 16.5 " wide, and 3 inches from the wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ms. Hepatica

18" x 18', oil on wood, 2013

 

I love this piece, and I feature it here because it has preeminent significance for my love of wildflowers. Early Spring, 2004, while hiking in the Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois, I stumbled upon this pretty little plant. It had three lobed leaves and lavender flower petals. Nothing else was blooming on the drab landscape. I had no idea what it was called, but it was so beautiful, I commited its features to memory, and it became the first plant that sparked a life long study of wildflowers.

 

 

 

GingkoPaintingPlants

 

Birth of Gingkoman

51" x 31", acrylic on heavy canvas, curtain rod, 2012

 

 

 

JoePyePainting

 

 

Joe-Pye Weed

20" x 16", oil on wood panel, 2013

 
   

 

 

 

WeedWomenPainting

 

Weed Women and Offspring

51" x 38", acrylic on heavy canvas, curtain rod, 2012

 

I created this painting when I was a Recess Supervisor, better understood as a "Lunch Mother". Okay, this is a job where a really clueless grandmotherly type decides she is going to do good in her community by watching about 200 plus children while they scream and yell and spit food around in a cavernous room all the while pretending that it is perfectly normal. It is not. Then she goes outdoors and tries to pretend she is protecting children from breaking bones, fighting, cruelty from bullies, cruelty from peer pressure, and on top of that she is required to teach children physical education. She will be paid slave wages and she will watch as students are set free at lunch and recess in an effort to give them a breather from the spirit breaking activities of the classroom. They are obliged to act out in obnoxious and pathological ways when given the freedom to do so on the playground. This is not an exageration. If you disagree, sign up to be a lunch mother or father, and stick with it for the duration of a school year. Then, get back to me about your altruistic experience. We'll talk.

 

 

 

PortalsPainting

Portals

42" x 47.5", acrylic on light weight canvas, curtain rods, 2011

 

 Portals was my attempt to capture the vision of Hummingbirds swirling and dipping into the blossoms of a plant. The mask theme, which I was relying on in these early paintings, is apparent here in the representation of the red flower. The piece is painted with solid blocks of color, a technique I departed from after meeting my mentor professional artist Bill Moll. He urged me to adopt a painterly style. I joked with him about it later, because his work is not brushy or painterly at all.

 

 

 

MimosaPainting

 

 

Mimosa Silk

43.5 x 28, acrylic on heavy canvas, curtain rod, 2012

 

 

 

GuruAnimalPainting

 

 

The Guru

63" x 51", acrylic on medium weight canvas, curtain rod, 2011

 

This was one of the first large scale paintings I completed when I decided that I would become a "painter". I had already tried many things in life, and to be truthful, I had a long run as a mask maker and costume maker for theatrical productions, but this was different. I was in a new phase, a phase that would be more truthful than anything artistic I had done in the past. I painted and repainted the piece for many days, as I was a bit green, and not sure if this new, abstract sort of thing was my gig. My brother-in-law, Roger Terreault, and my sister were staying with me in Florida at the time. Roger would sit and watch me paint, offering suggestions. Sometimes I would act upon his ideas and they were fruitful, but other times they were a failure, so I would have to paint them out. I consider this piece a joint effort between Roger and I. He went with me to gallery openings in the area, and I introduced him as "Roget, the Art Critic". It was great fun. I will miss Roger as he passed from this world in November, 2014. The painting itself can be better understood if one reads my novella entitled "Cult Du Jour" here.

 

 

 

ClimbingPainting

 

 

Climbing the Jimson Weed

39" x 46", acrylic on heavy canvas, curtain rod, 2012

 

This painting is based on the Jimson Weed plant,

Datura stramonium.

I spied only one of these plants in my neighborhood that season, next to the bike trail that goes between the old Searle Pharmacuetical plant in Skokie, Illinois, which is now known as the Illinois Science and Technology Park. The Jimson Weed is abused every year by a number of people who consume parts of the plant in order to experience an altered state, though they usually get very sick and are rushed to the hospital.

 

 

 

WildLilyPainting

 

Wild Lily Woman

52" x 43", acrylic on heavy canvas, curtain rod, 2012

 

 

This is a painting I created after encountering a Wild Lily in the Emily Oaks Nature Center near my home in Skokie, Illinois. This sweet little park has a nice pond, many old oaks, and a staff that continuously plants native wild flowers and shrubs, and trees, in an effort to reestablish some normalcy to the community. In the summer of 2013, I spied four of these majestic beauties sprouting on the grounds, a first for me since I began identifying wildflowers in the Chicagoland area. Of course, I had to document this momentous experience, and you have it here in this painting. The stamens are decpicted as the plants' offspring. They seem to swing forward from their anchors, staring with googly eyes at the viewer. Some of them flourish, and some do not. You will see two that have become disconnected and lie anguished on the ground. Unfortunetly, this is the way of the world.

 

 

 

TreeManPainting

 

 

Tree Man

34" x 32", acrylic on canvas, curtain rod, 2012

 
   

 

 

 

PricklyPainting

 

 

Prickly Pear Man

30" x 22", mixed media on paper, 2013

 

 

Along the eastern coast of Florida and inland too, one finds the Opuntia humifusa, known as the "Eastern Prickly-Pear" or the "Devil's-Tongue". This cactus is very prolific, and its bright red fruits are a source of nutrition for many animals. People can eat them too, but beware of the needles! From fine hair like thorns, to ice pick facsimilies, I tried to capture the essence of this plant in this mixed media piece.

 

 

 

thistlePaintingPlants

 

 

Thistle Woman

73" x 58", acrylic on heavy canvas, curtain rod, 2011

 
   

 

 

One summer, in Skokie Illinois, I happened upon a beautiful giant thistle plant sprouting from a crack in the pavement of a defunct parking lot. It was pretty enough, enthralling me with it's prickly attributes, and fuschia crown. Then, behold, nose to nose I came with a large moth nestled in the thorny leaves. He was ensconsed in the shade, protected from the bright hot sun. Like him, I waited for the cool of dusk to take lite in the darkened sky.

 

© 2017 Lea Atiq, all rights reserved