“How do I paint what energy looks like? How do I paint the moment when a form is actually forming, and what happens before and after energies collide?”
Enormous questions, problems Einstein or Hawking might be able to actually solve. Jackson artist Alison Brush ponders them every time she paints. Brush’s fluid, abstract paintings are gestures to the universe. Her acrylic works (recently on display, with a large percentage sold, at Elevated Grounds in Wilson, Wyoming) are celestial, cosmic, nebular. They also bring to mind an ocean’s swirling, pulsing depths.
“It’s fascinating and beautiful to me, to think about what happens after storm fronts explode against one another. I love to consider what is common to all of us, things that connect us, whether we can see them or not, or are even aware of their existence,” says Brush. “Many people refer to my paintings as “Rorschachs” because they are so open to interpretation. The more you look at them, the more you see. That’s what I want—people taking time to discover what they do see in my paintings.”
Brush does not use black pigment, but her works suggest deep space. One has to incorporate stillness to offset “an event that is taking place” in a work. She works in “gestures,” swooping and curving her brushstrokes, adding curves and twists. She’s long had a passion for the simple formations of rocks and wood, and dissolves their physical essence in her paintings. Even in the darkest spaces, activity thrives.
“I envision my paintings as windows on a world largely mysterious to all of us. I use large and small canvases, because smaller fields can pose great artistic challenge–how do you fit the energy of a universe inside such a space? These paintings are totally different from the animal portraits I also love to do. Those represent my rational side; the atmospheric works come from my intuition.”
Though Brush had an arts background , she worked in the corporate world, a Wall Street fixture. She left the Street in 1988, but stayed in the corporate world until 2001. Five years ago she returned to painting full time.
“I’ve found a new voice,” she says. “I’m so happy to be getting such positive response to my work. People tell me they don’t understand abstraction in art, but they find my paintings beautiful.”