Pauline Ziegen

My first exposure to art was growing up with Kansas City’s Nelson Atkins Museum’s amazing Japanese collection. It offered an incredibly rich source of imagery and surfaces; radiant gold leaf, zen-like brushwork and simplicity…all of it somehow perfectly balanced and entangled with sumptuous patterning and eye pleasing ornament.

No matter what direction or approach I take, these pictoral devices and philosophical leanings are always infused in my sensibility - that, and being raised on the edge of the prairie, acts upon me as a sense of my place in the landscape.

All of my paintings are oil, gold leaf and marble dust (gesso) on panel with a 2.5” depth. There are probably about 15 -20 layers, starting with the numerous layers of gesso, then red clay, gilding, paint and glazes.

My work has an Asian bent in its simplicity, oftentimes having an austere landscape imagery and reference to the natural world. It is imbued with a pantheistic reverence. Sometimes I describe my paintings as Zen westerns. Being landscapes, the enormous skies and cloudscapes of the southwest are a constant source of wonder and inspiration. I also try to reflect the sense of incredible illumination and atmosphere through the process of the glazes – kind of a direct physical representation of the amount and quality of light here.

Wild Blue Skies, 48 x 72 in. This Summer, 60 x 30 in. Uncertain Sunlight 36x36 In That Moment, 20x20" Unpinned, 40x36"