Sharon Ellis Winter Bouquet, 2009 Courtesy Christopher Grimes Gallery

Sharon Ellis
Winter Bouquet, 2009
Courtesy Christopher Grimes Gallery

WINTER BOUQUET       It took one full year of Sharon Ellis’ life to paint Winter Bouquet. It’s hardly a painting. Had an explosion of stars been captured by an imaginary camera, the result wouldn’t be far from the snow crystals that open their hearts, and pulse through a night of wishes celebrated for their light not less than for lightness: natural snow flakes are covered with modesty. Not here. Brush strokes are invisible. Maybe the artist’s brain sent emotive hints directly to the canvas, determined to keep them in movement. These are burning snow flowers. Their spiky edges, geometrical, prick the cerebral cortex to let the blue in to our brains, as it was shaped by the artist. “Something confining in what I do, fascinating: a point is a snapshot of time. You want time like music, to imply different times in the same picture, different seasons in the same painting.”

Emily Dickinson:  The brain is wider than the sky / For -put them side by side- /  the one the other will contain / with ease -and you-beside / the brain is deeper than the sea- / for-hold them-blue to blue- / the one the other will absorb- / as sponges-buckets- do- /  the brain is just the weight of god- / for-heft them-pound by pound- / and they will differ-if they do- /  as syllable from sound-

Sharon Ellis’ winter flowers come from the distance between dreams and words and images. They bring out the splendor of fragility, a freedom stronger than any exterior order; oh, could they speak they would say: “I didn’t remember snow. I was in Virginia. I was six, in school, and they gave us blue paper.”