In Garden for Daisy, Anna Macrae’s colorful oil paintings display a vigor and physicality of paint handling that make for a bold impression. Meandering more slowly through these paintings one discovers the pleasure of the details; the telltale underpainting, the odd juxtapositions, the incised line, and the smothered, slathered, scraped and swirled paint that make up her garden subject.
Using garden party colors–pinks, lavenders, jewel-like blues and greens–Macrae alludes to pictorial space with suggestions of horizon lines, plant forms, and the expansiveness of a long view into the garden. Shape and color share an identity. She manipulates edges and color to create space and form. Colors push forward or pull back. Edges–incised, outlined, smooth, or broken–stroll across the canvas, their dialogues informing us of relationships in space as well as providing a visual journey through larger expanses of pure color.
Just as Macrae surrenders to the rules of chance and intuition, these paintings ask the viewer to do likewise–to let go of expectations, conventions and imperfection. Here we can revel in paint and process: a luminous yellow green field, an unexpected fuchsia scallop against orange, a tower of rainbow paint strokes, or a deep blue crevice carved from a sweep of yellow. Intuition is often a challenging and tricky way to proceed with a painting, a bit like remembering and forgetting in the same moment, coupled with a huge amount of trust and faith in the process. The solidity and cohesion of this work assures us that Macrae’s intuition is the steady sort and her vision has a strong guiding principle. In Garden for Daisy, Macrae continues on her journey of paint and process and in doing so delivers to us a true garden of delights.