artist statement

I work with the figure because it offers me the greatest possibility for connection with the viewer on an emotional level. The subject matter, surfaces, and materials I use are chosen specifically to support this exchange. The space that the figures inhabit is contemporary for the most part: either non-specific and symbolic landscapes or interiors that allude to internal states. Inspired by dreams and memories, these paintings depict human and animal interactions both real and imagined.

The individual characteristics of the people that I paint are secondary to the iconic spirit that they embody. It is a state of being, not a particular being, I am most interested in trying to capture with the subjects in my work. They are representatives of shared emotion and universal experience.

My initial impulse toward an image is a vague feeling of rightness, of possibility. As I work, the process of painting (i.e. problem solving) reveals multiple levels of meaning that in turn further inform the way I paint. A psychological element will assert itself, the deeper meaning behind my initial interest clarifies, and every decision from then on gains greater relevance.

Cynthia Grilli

March 2017

Costa Mesa, CA