I had the opportunity to see the Helen Mirkil exhibit of Mixed Media “Hidden Stories: Self Portraits, Landscapes and Flowers” at the Fine Arts Center Art Gallery at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA.
I was taken with the vibrant landscapes, and thought of some of my favorite Pennsylvania Impressionists, as well as Charles Burchfield, and was delighted to come upon Helen’s statement when I had circled the whole gallery, where she mentions him, and his awareness of sound, of the joyful noise of painting outdoors.
The image on the left is “Mary’s Extravagant Gift” (oil), which has a mesmerizing face. I also was drawn to the colors in “At Table in the Wilderness” with a goblet of green-blue brimming with red-orange.
Here is an excerpt from her artist statement:
“My creativity is a gift. In part, it is driven by a childhood need to be heard. With art or poetry, I’m able to express things that inspire and/or weigh on my soul. It doesn’t matter whether I am sitting inside a grove of trees, looking into the eyes of a friend, or admiring the grace of dying tulips. Beauty and depth are there to be found. There is an internal music that comes alive in me, a sort of dance, when I’m painting or writing. Really, I think, before anything else, I love to dance. And this dance is a prayer of gratitude to the Lord of my soul.”
I love this idea of an internal music coming alive in her creation.
Helen Mirkil is also part of an exhibit at the Gershman Y in Philadelphia, Ecstatic Landscape, through August 14th.