It starts from a simple portrait.
Simple forms, simple lines, simple ideas. Painting the line. What’s there in front of you.
Let more in. Bring in personal experience, unbelievable coincidence, welcome in the unseen. The what? The androgynous metaphysical presence lures Lena’s paintings into the supernatural, they exist beyond what our eyes can tell us, they are trying to make us feel something. Think beyond your material experiences, find something within you, the unseen is always there.
Who has the foresight to plan? Grow with the work, change the colour here, layer it over there, find what compliments what and how to maintain the balance.
Don’t be afraid to pour yourself into your work. Be vulnerable. The wooden frame hides nothing, gives everything away, is naked to the viewer, why should what it holds be any different? The paintings simmer with life, they are a collage of thought, a goulash of experience, you’ve got to have the right elements and spices or it won’t have the right effect. Ground spirituality, follow your path, find your calling, be prolific. 10 years of painting have led Lena Brazin to London via Slovakia and the south of France. A few emails have led me to sit opposite her in a café via the tube.
With a cake placed between our two hot beverages, Brazin flies through every element in her work, a quickfire what’s what and how and why, of the meaningful everyday. It’s a stream of consciousness, I barely asked a single question; each story leads to a tangent that explains another facet of her painting. Acid colours because there’s no point in make depressing work, because you only get one life, you’re only here once, in the moment, brighten and enrich it. That immediacy leaves an impression, leaves the viewer to feel confused and lost, left only with the visual clues, winks and nods contained within those wooden frames that make the work feel whole. A whole life. A boat called Lena, a banana bedspread when she was waiting to hear whether she got into Turps Banana Art School, mothers and daughters, metaphysical life, a whiskey pun, and a focus on the present.
The paintings are always freaky, but they never feel incomplete, rushed, or lacking. They work because Lena has poured everything into their construction, the disparate and apparently random visuals that surround the portraits are plucked from somewhere, some feeling or vision or photograph, they are whole. Zen in France, hustle in London. She is waiting for her next wave of creativity, calm in the knowledge that it will come, aware of when to wait and when to work, never daunted for what the future holds.
It will happen. Spirituality does that to you.
Image: Lena Brazin, Whiskey Roulette, acrylic and oil on linen, 188x262cm, 2019