HELPLESS

Ellen Hackl Fagan

East Gallery | July 17 – August 22, 2020

  • ELLEN HACKL FAGAN

As I began painting anew in my studio in anticipation of this upcoming solo exhibition, we were experiencing a rare conjunction of the planets Venus and Mercury in the early evening sky.
On Mother's Day, my family and I took an early evening hike and the planets were huge in the sky, with Saturn and Jupiter showing up before any stars. As the night grew dark, these planets were so bright, it made me think about a time when astronomers were observing and guiding their communities due to the information analyzed while studying the stars.
 
As I worked in the studio, the night sky became the focus of these new works.
 
And in my mind, Neil Young's song "Helpless" was repeatedly being sung in silence, like an endless loop.
 
Painting and singing songs in my head are a regular way of thinking while painting. It creates a mantra, or flow, while working.
 
The lyrics that kept repeating were "Blue blue windows behind the stars....................leave us helpless, helpless, helpless, helpless."
 
At this point in time, I am helpless to control pretty much anything, as we all are. It could be that the blues I am painting are the night sky and stars, or it could be the seas rising, or it could be how the astronauts in space see our planet Earth. Blue is the color, overwhelmed is the feeling. 
 
I am also helpless when it comes to my blue paint. It's seductive surfaces leave me helpless and coming back to that well of visual satisfaction for another drink

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