• Shawn Cunningham

Cordelia Doll's Vertical Landscapes

As humanity steps further away from the primordial ooze, our intuitive relationship with the natural world recedes from our conscious mind. It takes an expert hand to delve back into the unconscious, to find that which is buried deep within our hearts. Luckily, such a hand is with us today, and her name is Cordelia Doll.


“It pops out of the frame!” is a statement of high praise that is used so often it seeks to mean anything at all. However, with Cordelia Doll, this praise is adept due to the fact her work quite literally pops out of the frame. These accentuated surfaces, made possible thanks to her acrylic paints and expert hand, demand the viewer’s attention.


Flourishing Life © Cordelia Doll


After attention has been caught, the viewer must take note of the colors. Touched with a fine brushstroke, this rainbow tapestry grabs both the eye and soul alike. These colors shift and swirl, allowing the eye to follow along the naturally occurring structures and patterns.


While aspects and pieces are certainly familiar, a spider’s web here and a sea shell there, the overall amalgamation seem to come from a place deep inside ourselves. Lucky for us, Cordelia Doll is here to explain how her primeval landscapes were brought from nature to canvass—and what their message to the human race.

Colour Revolution © Cordelia Doll


When did you decide to paint?


Already early in my life I have gotten into contact with a great variety of artistic expressions, particularly my mother’s family contributed much to my interest in the arts later on. A relative of hers had been a devoted conservator and passionate restorer of renaissance and baroque style images at the Old Masters Picture Gallery in Dresden. He could even mix the various colors in the unique way these masters had done. This close contact to these objects always meant a challenging inspiration for me. Already during my school year I started painting and sculpting. This long and enduring voyage has not stopped by now.


Who/what inspires you?


A deep love for colors always inspires me to give my best when creating an image. In the world of art I feel motivated by old masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo or Botticelli. Their love for detail and perfection, their level of knowledge and craftsmanship is a permanent spur and stimulus for me. Paul Gaugin and Franz Marc are my favourite artists, whose works I adore most. Particularly their tasteful color compositions are a source of never ending inspiration.


Where have your paintings been exhibited?


I intend to have my images exhibited internationally in various places all over the world. One focus of exhibitions has developed to be in Italy. It is a country with a rich cultural background and lifestyle, to which I feel myself very much attracted to in many ways.


Vaterland © Cordelia Doll


Your paintings incorporate shapes and patterns found in the natural world. How do you go about finding these patterns?


I am very much impressed by well designed gardens and parks. The architectural influence allows to compose vegetation in an artistic way, areas and sceneries can be developed, certain plants be emphasized. Bringing the natural beauty into my pictures by incorporating its patterns and shapes, makes my images become plastical vertical landscapes. A creative color surface transposes and alters their original meaning and unites the abundant variety under one theme. The singular piece, so to say, is tamed and plays its role in an harmonious orchestra of colors and shapes.


Your paintings are very naturalistic while at the same time being impressionistic. What inspires you to paint like this?


I am inspired by places like the South Sea atolls or the Hawaiian islands. In all of these places there is a very specific atmosphere; you can observe plants, rocks, waves or whatever as physical objects. At the same time one is full of emotions, feelings and impressions. This duality is reflected in my works. Sometimes reality wins and sometimes emotions, sentiments and passion. Nature in general means to me a great inspiration for my work. If you go out with open eyes you will experience such an overwhelming beauty in untouched landscapes around us. This applies as well to entire big sceneries as to minor things, even under the microscope. In each of my works I have a central idea, but I do not draw or sketch anything on the canvas. Everything comes into existence in the moment of doing it. It happens in a way of flow.


Tree Avenue in Autumn © Cordelia Doll


Your paintings have accentuated images that literally pop out to the observer. How do you achieve this?


Many people have already asked this. I think the image bases, consisting of a broad spectre of bodies, shapes and objects provide a peculiar plasticity and speciality as an intensive background. The multitude of structures, the malleable masses not only cover the canvas, they vitalize it. The bright surface colors add additional fireworks of vibrant and sparkling energy. My landscape-like collages have a peculiar physical-ness beyond their haptical depiction qualities in the space. This bunch of fundamental techniques is quite powerful and often realized by sensitive observers.


Your artwork uses symbolism to describe the link between the natural world and the cosmos. How do you come about finding these symbols?


As in life the different patterns embedded in their surroundings become allegories of strength and weakness, of growth and decay, and turn into symbols of the great cycles of nature. In my art style concrete matter is dismantled within light and color compositions and finally an abstract composition is achieved, which approaches the beholder by its design vocabulary and its chromaticity. The physical presentation of objects alters into an expression of the imaginary, the felt, and the perceived. The sensual perceptible world is detached and transcended to the abstract.


Dance on the rainbow © Cordelia Doll


Do you describe an overall meaning to your work?

My art wants to make conscious to the observer, that each single part is important for the whole. Human creativity is just a part of the creativity of nature. We human beings are just a part of nature, a jigsaw puzzle piece of our world.


Time has come, that we learn once again to interact carefully and in a sustainable way with our fellow living beings on Mother Earth. All is one, all is connected and interacts with each other. This wonder is called creation.