Anita Schmaltz

Royal Oak MI

Beginning Again
Painting
Artist Statement
When I was little, my mother called me her “rainbow girl.” That spectrum is one of my first loves - Alizarin crimson, Naples yellow, viridian, cerulean blue, lavender, magenta, I am forever fascinated by color. I stretch and uncoil the rainbow, pull it apart, refract the vibrations onto my canvas, I place them, looking for harmonies of my own, looking for something vital to find its way into my hands. I ask myself, ‘how does one paint process’? In my diptych, “The Collapse of The Lone Ranger and Zombie Bride,” I started with an intention, under-paintings of geological patterns, then later began to see images within the patterning. Soon the skirt of a wedding gown opens up to reveal a jigsaw puzzle and an atmospheric eye on the distant horizon, sad and watching. The bride breaks apart into smoke, feathers and teared shapes, but through all the disfigurement, her single intact hand raises a rose scepter filled with blue skies. I realize the painting has become an illustration of a marriage dissolved, but even after the falling apart of a bride, she still champions love. And her male counterpart, a loner, climbs through his adventures. On his way up he’s impeded, but through the dissolution of his fears new galaxies are found, a new star is being born. Together, the demise of two archetypes has turned into an eternal resolution beyond time and place. Metaphor, symbol, the language of gesture and shape, light and shadow, these tools allow me to approach imagery on multiple levels, to increase the possibilities between the literal image and the account underneath in a reconstructed harmony. In “Sleeping Beauty’s Room of Waiting Near the End of Time,” I created a room with a wall of water, a wall of ferns, and a copper mermaid, altogether an alternative arrangement of familiar things. And in this room, I intend to paint a dog, it goes blind before my eyes, I intend to paint a crow, its head turns into a spiral, its body an unearthly spectrum with a blind dog as its shadow. The room is a collaboration between conscious and unconscious, all at once, a scene both horrific and magical. The surreal, the familiar presented in unfamiliar ways, in combination with personal and universal associations has the potential to transform thought. The room I paint before me becomes impending death to something once-loved now old, obsolete, as restricting as prison bars. Sometimes it feels as if reality mutes the true colors and I’m pulling them back out for everyone else to see. To paint is an unmasking, a visceral mission to reveal the complexion of an image’s essence, the Technicolor hidden under everyone’s skin. Anything within my reach could be a piece that will stay with me. I collect images, I’ll paint from objects: a Victorian figurine, a dried pomegranate, rocks and minerals, burned film. Then within my hands these pieces transform into a portal I call my art, a reconstructed doorway to something beyond itself.
Past DAM Shows/Exhibitions