Marliese Scheller’s paintings explore a psychological realm that mingles folklore with ecstatic states of mind. Generally portraying a figure or birds against solitary landscapes, Scheller’s works are alchemical recreations of the emotional complexity revealed to us only through introspection. What sets her pictures apart is the way they blend allegory and mysticism, laying bare the inner lives of the viewers who see her works while creating a pictorial context that blends familiarity with extraordinariness.
Danse Matinale is typical of Scheller’s output. Like a tarot figure in the major arcana, a man is dancing on a mountaintop while holding the sun in his hands. The strangeness of this image is tempered by the way oil paint lends a familiar, comforting aspect to what would otherwise be a lonely, forbidding landscape. What’s more, the association of holding the sun carries with it the connotation of a return to life. In this poeticized recreation of the phrase carpe diem, we see in Scheller’s character only what we can discover in ourselves.