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What I Do

What I Do

Non-objective is a genre whose foundation comes from that which is more imaginary, i.e. dreams, thoughts, feelings and emotions. My work is inspired by the likes of the New York School of Art and the Abstract Expressionists such as Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, and Jackson Pollack. Another influence is that of the work of Jim Dine–the gestural qualities of his strokes as well as his use of a series to study and explore a subject in an almost iconic way.

It is characteristically an event that leads the impetus for my piece, the plot or subject, if you will. And by painting it, I am thereby documenting it as a poignant moment in time. To do this, I consider a few technical components.

Scale: I feel comfortable with a larger scale ranging from 4’x4’ to 4’x7.’ In the early 2000’s, I did a series of 5’x6’ drawings using charcoal, erasers, conté, and acrylic. The purpose of this series was to study the Zen enso. An excerpt from my artist statement at that time:

A battle wages on the surface, as the material applied is pushed back and forth– testing the boundaries. It is a process of study and investigation in abstract form. “Like law, art and science concentrate on the definition and redefinition of form in order to chart justice, truth, and value.” [1]

My work represents a consistent struggle to determine an outcome in an emotionally turbulent conflict. Inspired from my personal life and exploration from my own relationships, the subject matter first started with a study of the wedding band, now has grown to include other interrelated themes, such as the Zen enso. “While nothing seems simpler than this circle, the enso has profound and paradoxical meanings. It may include or exclude everything. It may appear to be perfectly empty, and at the same time, completely full. It may even signify the enlightened consciousness.” [2]

A struggle ensues without a clear victor, except for the balance achieved through the strain of the struggle itself. The cause of the battle is irrelevant; however, what is relevant is that there is an attempt to overcome.

The scale allowed for me to draw using the entire radius of my arm, allowing me to completely put myself in the process. This transferred to my painting, maintaining the gestural configurations.


Platform: I chose wood, my favorite being birch wood, because I require something unforgiving and not too malleable. I am attracted to the grains and knots in the wood as well, and incorporate them purposefully and intentionally into the pattern or composition.


Medium: I am enamored by silver oil enamel. I use it in a resist with water-based mediums such as India ink and acrylic. I thoroughly enjoy pushing the material around and against each other, adding and subtracting. As a result, I sometimes find myself scratching into the wood with the closest object at hand.


Color: To me, it is something that could be evocative of a mood or an emotion, yes, but it could also get in the way and become detracting, superficial or contrived. I am more comfortable sticking to my gray scales of silver, white, and black.

“Meredith Lewis’ paintings are generally monochromatic expressions of mood, texture and relationship and are reminiscent of the later Abstract Expressionists from the sixties. Using metallic colors, inks, and acrylic washes, Meredith’s works evoke action, movement, and a reference to a machined yet chaotic world. The moody dark paintings appear to be wall sections removed form an industrial past. The paintings which range in size from 24 x 18 inches to 48 x 48 inches are beautifully prepared and clearly communicate the artist’s movement, action, and intentions.” John Davis, owner, Davis & Cline Gallery, Ashland, Oregon.


[1] Kristine, “Art and Technology,” in Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings, eds. Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996) 384.

[2] Woodson, Yoko. Zen: Painting and Calligraphy, 17th-20th Centuries. (San Francisco: Asian Art Museum, 2001) p.52.