A painter’s life far from the madding crowd.
M’Liz Keefe pursues the time-honored tradition of land- and seascape painting on Fogo Island, a tiny fishing community off the coast of Labrador and Newfoundland. For most of her career—which she’s pursued in Hoboken, NJ, and Taos, NM, as well as on the Canadian coast—she has been drawn to vast empty landscapes that speak of the geological erosion of the earth’s surface through time. She works with oils, ashes from wood stoves, powdered pigments, wax and another materials, which are built up in a long process of application, leading to a thick and heavily textured surface.
In the last few years, following a residency on Fogo, Keefe has dedicated herself to painting the ocean in oil and wax. “I am now fascinated and absorbed by the ocean’s repetitive life,” she says, “its changes at once subtle and drastic, its loneliness and its own fecund nature with a life underneath the surface, remaining mostly hidden.” Keefe will tell us about life in this unusual community, her crowd-sourcing campaign to fund her time on the island, her early years in New York, and how her brother’s untimely death affected her art.