Edie Marshall: Painting Analysis

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Terrain, Edie Marshall’s installation of 1000 lushly worked oil paintings, is a record of a road trip through the Great Plains of North America. Over the duration of the trip, made in 2013, Marshall took over 1500 photos on her iPhone. Randomly shooting images on impulse, most of the photos are landscapes taken from the passenger seat of the moving car, though shots also include excursions into towns, cities, historic sites, an aquarium, hiking trails, parks, and roadside vistas. Upon returning from the trip Marshall took up the challenge of creating painting from these numerous photos. However, rather than eliminating images down to a few select, well-composed scenes to paint Marshal utilized the spontaneity with which the images were taken…show more content…
Painting is slow process; an oil painting has to be completed over time. Considering compositional elements, analyzing colour mixes, and layering and building up paint is a time consuming practice. However, it these formal concerns, along with the physical manipulation of paint that engages Marshall. Furthermore, it is precisely this slow production that attracted Marshall to the project. Slowing allows for looking and thinking. This deceleration initiated through the painting process allows Marshall to recall the landscapes she traveled through, remember the events, and to consider the images more deeply. The time spent building the paintings allows for a more contemplative experience. Marshall worked in a painterly, gestural style, indicative of an alla prima method. Colour and texture are paramount in the work. Each painting is unique, with a tactile presence, which reveals the hand of the artist. The image, which was the product of a split second drive by photo, now takes on substance through both the physicality of the paint, and through the contemplation of place and time. In this, the paintings come to represent more of a testament to her experience than the photographs. In the essay An Art That Eats Its Own Head – Painting in the Age of Images Barry Schwabgley acknowledges photographs place in contemporary art while also confirming the significance of painting, “ Although it was…show more content…
2 The photographs are an essential part of documenting the time and place, the paintings speak to a more internalized personal history and experience of
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