RELIEF PAINTINGS - 2008-2011

Like the early Surrealists, I have been using images of toys to create an emotional impact. My wood relief paintings, feature bright colors and lively shapes and employ a labor intensive and intricate wood relief technique. After cutting the wood shapes, each piece is painted separately with oil paint, and then screwed onto a painted wood panel from behind.

This imagery and way of working allows me to comment on the tumultuous state of our contemporary life. The vintage toys refer to the fact that childhood, and, by implication, adult life as well, isn’t what it used to be. The days of growing up slowly have been supplanted by an overly busy lifestyle, more bombarded with input than ever before.

On the other hand, the complications, juxtapositions and multi-tasking we all experience, can be fun and interesting. Though challenging, our modern lives reflect a new, exciting cultural expansion. The colorful oil on wood relief and animated quality of these paintings captures the upbeat side of our new order.

In this way the paintings depict both the positive and negative sides of this aspect of contemporary life and expresses the contradictory state of our existence.

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Sock Dolls Dance



© Carolyn Oberst 2014