“Healing” is a series of figurative and still life paintings that depict the journey my family and I endured during my mother’s final months of life. Using abstracted and expressive forms, I capture the quiet moments in the house and my memories of her, communicating my own thoughts and feelings of what was happening around me. The still life paintings include objects that have found their way into my life during the time of her illness such as trash in hospitals, new hospital equipment that she needed, and piles of her medication and paperwork. I also depict things that hold her presence in our house; her vanity, her wig, and her empty bed. The style of my work is heavily influenced by Joan Mitchell, Gerhard Richter, Gustav Klimt, Pauline Boty, Danielle Orchard, and Persian miniature paintings. I start my paintings with an abstraction like Joan Mitchell, while using a palette knife or a sweegee. My figures are painted in a style similar to those of Orchard and Picasso, where the forms are simplified. The patterns I use to fill spaces and represent objects are inspired by Persian miniature paintings and the work of Gustav Klimt. These works are meant to represent life, the good and the bad, and the colors used sometimes relate to cancer ribbons (turquoise and pink) while others are chosen to create a beautiful scene. The paintings capture specific moments from my perspective during the journey from my mother’s diagnosis in early 2017, her last chemotherapy and remission in 2018, the return of the cancer in 2020 until she passed away on September 22, leaving behind an empty bed where once we used to gather as a family.
About the Artist
Marissa Bonett was born in Littlestown, Pennsylvania. She is currently on the Dean’s List and will receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art from York College of Pennsylvania in May. Marissa’s work includes landscapes, still lives, and portraiture that reflect her life. Her work is expressive with mark making and color choices. In 2019, Marissa’s work was exhibited in the Rapidity group exhibition in the Coni Wolf Gallery at Marketview Arts in York. In March 2021, she was awarded Third Place by guest juror Susanne Slavick in the Annual Juried Student Exhibition in the York College Galleries on campus and online. Marissa currently resides in York, Pennsylvania. She plans to continue her education at Millersville University to get her teaching certification. She wants to share the knowledge she has gained through the years of schooling with a new generation of artists.