site by dlk
Alexa Kleinbard

During these past twenty years I have focused my work on what human beings must protect in the garden of our Natural Environment. As the fragmentation and division of wild lands all over the world escalates while ninety-six percent of all old-growth forest has fallen to the chainsaw, I've been driven to work on paintings that hint at the potential silence that will be left in our remaining habitats if more and more species are lost forever and mans push toward more population and further stripping of nature's resources is not somehow subdued.

I hope to seduce the audience eye into healing views of faraway wetlands and aquatic serenity. As the thickened foliage, lushly painted with the flowers and leaves of traditional healing plants, is pulled visually aside in a voyeuristic manner, a faraway scene of Mother Nature's glory and serenity is revealed. I try to offer a suggestive peek at what we must never lose. These shaped paintings are each a single character unto themselves, each one reads overall as a single medicinal plant, complete with "dancing leg" roots, standing brave to the onslaught of man's collective drive to put his species above all others. Individual plant shapes have been cut out of birch wood and feature leaves, blossoms, pods, fruits, and insect pollinators, jaggedly silhouetted and richly painted with traditional oils. These healing plant cutout shapes are a foreground cover and become a scrim through which the faraway horizon of water meeting sky is seen as deep space, carefully depicted with sunsets and reflections that reveal, or at least imply, stories of timeless beauty and hope.

No animal life is depicted in the landscaped face however, only sky, light, and water, tacitly warning of times when there will be even less exchange between us and the remains of a Natural World we too often have taken for granted. Foxglove, for instance, a remedy plant known as Digitalis, that has long been used to regulate and strengthen the heart muscles, has it's healing property celebrated by a dance of joy foreground, while its internal face of deep space, reveals a river of peaceful water.

I hope the paintings, with their close up view of a healing plant and their far away view of a silent world, will offer the viewer a chance to ponder the future of our planet. By being provocative and strong enough visually, perhaps these works will stop a new viewer for a reflective instance, while at the same time celebrating a far away slice of landscape that is cradled in medicinal plant flora and root that have long served as keepers of the naturalist flame, a flame one hopes will never be extinguished.

Alexa Kleinbard