Jane Guthleben is an artist working in Sydney, Australia, who carefully collects natural elements in her environment and preserves them in oil paint.
Guthleben's body of work "Ornament" is filled with thick, juicy brushstrokes that mix muted pinks with muddy greens, allowing each layer to sit on top of the one below with decisive mark making. The texture of the flora she selects is echoed through the texture of the paint she uses to recreate them, and her ability to capture intricate detail while keeping each composition loose and not overworked creates dynamic compositions. The inclusion of cow skulls and fallen flower petals push these paintings over the line of still life and into the symbolism of vanitas, giving these subdued works emotional power beyond their beauty.
The paintings of Jane Guthleben offer her Australian perspective, giving us an impression of the natural landscape of her country. These unique portrayals play with the elegance in their strangeness and pull us into contemplation of our own mortality.