Flora & Fauna In Concert:

Visions Of Nature

BY PIANIST ELENI TRAGANAS

 

EVENING PREYER

Size: 13 1/2'' x 17 1/2'' (34.3 x 44.5 cm)

"Like a cathedral mosaic of stained glass, shapes and forms converge, suffused by a golden wash which sets the hour. It is twilight, time for vespers, when living things withdraw within themselves, secluding themselves from the outside world: when a long-horned beetle retreats deep within the privacy of a flowering lily, hoping, prey-ing for some sustenance."

UNGUARDED MOMENT

11 3/4'' x 15 1/2'' (29.8 x 39.4 cm)

"A languid summer afternoon. The presence of humanity is only obliquely implied by the inclusion of an artifact, the central focal point—a vermilion-red clay pot. From under the tangle of foliage, the thicket of darkened negative shadows, emerges a solitary beetle, boldly exposing itself to the unguarded rays of sunlight. It is a moment of indiscretion with potential consequences."

SILENT STALKING

19'' x 26 1/2'' (48.3 x 67.3 cm)

"This scene was directly inspired by the lush, verdant landscaping of the Corinthian Mountains of Greece. Interlocking shapes silently stretch themselves upwards towards an unseen source of light, while hidden behind an old bamboo cane, the luminous eye of an observant intruder silently stalks its prey."

TOWARDS THE FLAME

28'' x 20'' (71.1 x 50.8 cm)

"Towards The Flame was inspired by Russian visionary composer Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915), whose cosmic work for piano by that name is resplendent with the dazzling interplay of sunlight and animal forces of nature. Like the self-immolation of the moth flying recklessly into the smoldering flames, Vers la Flamme signifies man's ultimate burning desire for illumination."

AUGUST COUNTERPOINT


18'' x 13 1/2'' (45.7 x 34.3 cm)


"Late summer, when towering gladioli abound and multiply in the light and heady breezes of August. There is music, a counterpoint of voices rising upwards, like the organ tones of nature—the droning of wasps mingled with the rhythmical grating of a cricket. A droll, mid-afternoon aria to lull one's senses into restful oblivion. It is the august, dignified lyricism of the natural world."

BLIGHTED SPOT

18 1/4'' x 30'' (46.4 x 76.2 cm)

"My floral and botanical works have always been inspired by the flora and fauna of Greece, where the richness, abundance, and variety of natural life reflect the extremes of emotion in the temperament of the country. Here, a sinister conflict of interaction sets the mood of the scene—the microcosm of cause and effect, tension and irresolution. From the guileless harvest mouse to the menacing garter snake, the chrysalis hidden in a protected niche beneath decaying leaves, the unfolding of the swallowtail and patches of disfiguring blight upon the maturing fruit—an incredibly detailed and magnified commentary of the ever-changing tapestry of life."



CHRISTENING DAY

22” x 17” (57 x 44 cm)

“The mystery and animal force of night’s darkness gradually fade as a rosy dawn envelops a dense backyard garden nook. Drops of mystical dew settle on the tangle of zinnias and morning glory vines. A new day dawns in a baptism of Nature.”

VEILED CONSPIRACY

12'' x 16'' (30.5 x 40.6 cm)

"Against the undulating folds of a floral-patterned tablecloth, a convocation of tomatoes is taking place. These vegetables are alive! They leap out at the viewer with three-dimensional form and density. Animated by their all-too-human emotions, they whisper and laugh amongst themselves with envy and malice, plotting revenge against their near-perfect rival, now the unwitting target of their conspiracy."

AFTERLIFE IN SPRING

17 1/2'' x 11 1/2'' (44.5 x 29.2 cm)

"A mythical vision of life after life which came to me one early morning in spring. A strange pinkish glow illuminates a timeless expanse of infinite sky, while nodding child-sized daffodils give off a faint intoxicating fragrance. It is the moment of death. The overall mood of this image imparts a calming, in fact, a healing influence on the viewer."

AFTERLIFE AT DAWN

18” x 12” (45.7 x 30.5 cm)

“The watercolors of the ‘Afterlife’ series have been clearly inspired by the German Romanticists P. Otto Runge, C.D. Friedrich and F. Schinkel, among others.

It is early dawn and the horizon has taken on an other-worldly glow that softly illuminates the newly-awakened flora suffused with vibrant color.”

AFTERLIFE

18'' x 12'' (45.7 x 30.5 cm)

"This is a glimpse into an unattainable netherworld. It is a bucolic fantasy landscape where peonies and lilies bloom in perfect flawless symmetry, and intertwine like velvety ribbons, beckoning the viewer to look beyond into a visionary domain without time or place. In fact, this is the image of medieval Castle Chillon, on Lake Geneva, that had so impressed me during a concert performance long ago in Switzerland. It could have been a vision of another life, a foretaste of life after life.”

PEAS AND CARROT BEETLE

5 3/4'' x 4'' (14.6 x 10.2 cm)

"Every tendril and blossom of the garden peas, down to the textured elytra and glistening eyes of the scarab (here, grossly enlarged) were executed with the greatest care and enthusiasm. 'There is something evil in your paintings,' a pianist once said to me, pointing to one of my trademark beetles. Insects, I replied, are primordial, predating our civilized world, our antecedents and our successors, our ubiquitous companions throughout our daily lives, yet alien as any creatures can ever be. If we are afraid of insects, it is because we are afraid of our own inscrutable natures."

DATURA AND COLORADO BEETLE

5 3/4'' x 4 1/8'' (14.6 x 10.5 cm)

"This enormously magnified genus of beetle also known as the potato scourge is in its element foraging through plant members of the deadly nightshade species like the Datura vine, or Angels's Trumpet. It was said that the high priestesses of Delphi in ancient Greece would imbibe decoctions of this plant to attain an ecstatic state of clairvoyance. Thus, such compellingly attractive flora and fauna are in essence deceptive, the potato beetle especially provoking our intrinsic awe of the mysterious insect world."

SNOWDROPS AND WINTER BEETLE

6'' x 4'' (15.2 x 10.2 cm)

"Stylized snowdrops—Galanthus Nivalis—suspended like jewels from their thin, slender stems, the first early blossoms of the season. The ground beetle is often found in European winters near the foot of a willow tree."

RUDBECKIAS AND CRYPTOCEPHALUS SERICEUS

5 3/4'' x 4 1/8'' (14.6 x 10.5 cm)

"One night while looking from my window at the storm-tossed coast of the Mediterranean, I was prompted to record the turbulence of the scene through this small painting. It is a 'seascape' of untamed nature, where flaming petals of black-eyed Susans and waves of murky and sinister shadows transform an ordinarily tiny, harmless leaf beetle into a raging, formidable predator."

Watercolors

Original Artwork © ELENI TRAGANAS

All Rights Reserved By The Artist

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