Using a variety of media including encaustic, oil, and gouache, Linda LaFontsee conveys the dance of life with an organic freedom independent of representation. Through layering, line and color, her paintings build upon the structure of pattern in a push and pull of what to keep and what to paint over or scrape away. She chooses natural materials, responding to the fleshy quality of encaustic, its smell, color, texture, and the challenge and pleasure of working with it. With pattern as a foundation, she tones, varnishes, burns, molds, melts, and scratches into the surface of her paintings until a fluid repetition emerges.
Repetition is a recurrent inspiration in LaFontsee’s work. History appeals to her. She is attracted to layers of peeling paint, the configuration of bricks, and natural outgrowths such as the rings of trees or the scattered tones of pebbles. Like life under a microscope, her paintings appear alive, in flux, primordial and eternal. There is a musical essence to the way in which her paintings move, undulating in subtle organic motion. Viewers are enticed to slow down, touch and smell the paintings, to take pleasure in their tactile nature and meditative quality of seductive calm.
“Everything in life inspires me, not quite with direct interpretation, but as I see and experience faces, words, gestures, colors and shapes – all of it – I am always looking and reacting to the energy around me. All of this gets channeled and flows from brain to arm, hitting white board with that first wonderful stroke of vibrant color, and continues with adding and subtracting, stripping down to the most essential. I am in love with the eloquence of sparseness and everything to do with the act of painting: the smell, the lushness of oil paint, color.”