“UnEarth” is a series of contemporary paintings that explore the intricacies of estuaries, creek currents, rocks, tide pools, waves, and various Pacific Northwest landscapes. Some pieces magnify the minuscule aspects of nature, while others capture dreamlike scenes such as a floating rock or a reflection pool. With both 6ft canvases and mid-sized works, the series portrays a tangible presence through deep lines depicting stratum, a palette filled with earthy hues, and thoughtful composition.
The interplay of line work, transparencies, and the magnification of rocks and shell matter provides an immersive perspective for the viewer, inviting contemplation of our connection or disconnection as individuals within the broader natural world.
The "UnEarth" painting series emerged amid the initial stages and ongoing influence of covid-19. Like many, I sought refuge in the woods. When the forest near my home filled with people newly discovering the trails, my daughter and I set out to explore state parks further away. Occasionally joined by family and friends, more often, it was just us paddling out, hiking up, or pitching our tent on bumpy terrain. Echoing the experiences of many, we navigated the pandemic's grip, grappling with a loss of certainty and unexpected gains of time. We traversed trails through illness, recovery, gratefulness, confusion, loss, and tenderness.
Walking the basalt shores of Rialto Beach beneath the gaze of sea stacks, thoughts stirred about how the tide lines nearing the shore resembled the bare strata exposed in cliffs we recently hiked on the northeastern WA peninsula. A seashell buried in mud in a Sequim estuary mirrored the shape of a giant glacial erratic in a field near eastern Bellingham. Earth colors and a minimal palette defined my work, capturing ongoing patterns, the feel, perspective, negative space, and undercurrents. "UnEarth" signifies the layers of landscape and our ever-changing inner world. The breadth of the expansiveness of being in the elements mixed with feeling minuscule, such a small speck of time (humans like us 300,000 years) compared to the longevity of trees (360 million), the soft curled wedge of a shelf fungus (over 900 million years old), the spongy moss underneath our steps (plants 500 million), or the graceful lines on a billion-year-old rock.
"UnEarth" resulted from sketches, sometimes crafted late at night by firelight or within a soggy tent amidst a downpour. It embodies my daily sketch-work translated onto canvas, perpetually seeking lines, connections, congruences, spaces, and shapes folding into an edge. It questions how we see, our evolutionary connection to the landscape, and how truly miraculous it is to be here, now, in the natural world.
Much appreciation to everyone who has supported this show – my partner and kids, friends, teachers, VAIS, and VCA. And to all the people who, over the last 20+ years, have purchased my paintings, viewed my performances, and/or visited my installation artwork – your support allows me to continue my work and focus on my craft. Thank you sincerely.
Allison Crain Trundle earned her BFA from the University of New Mexico, specializing in figurative and landscape painting. Her artistic exploration included immersive plein air painting experiences at the university's DH Lawrence Ranch program in rural northern New Mexico. Focused on canyonlands and expansive vistas, she delved into color and light, laying the groundwork for her future abstract works. Trundle's engagement with landscapes profoundly influenced her transition towards an abstract style.
Expressing her artistic goals, Trundle notes, "Light, composition, patterns, synthesis (and lack of), are my interests. I am continuously drawn to investigate the cyclical nature of things, exploring life cycles and our dynamic connection with nature as humans. How we see the natural world, how we relate to it, how we identify with nature or not, are themes in my work. My aim is to craft spontaneous paintings that are distinctive, innovative, and visually compelling."