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Happiness, 16x20", 1998 (sold)









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Artist's Statement:

My paintings are inspired by my heritage, my experience as a woman artist and my flowers.

I paint in various techniques* and draw my subjects from traditional symbols, poetry, and my rock garden.  I am a pacifist and through my art wish to put emphasis on the importance of understanding, empathy, respect and love towards humanity, nature and all living creatures on earth. 

* Acrylic, oil, egg tempera, watercolour, mixed media, collage and, prints.

This is a memory chest in which family and others are featured (done with acrylic gel transfers and painting; built like a medicine cabinet with the help of my friend Lance Wood.)  It was done in 2000 during an installation class with David Moore at Concordia.  This was a result of a comment I received from Laurel Smith (David Moore's teaching assistant at that time) that my miniature series "Shelved Memories" are not really shelved.    The statement for my work that year was:

Memories are kept with things, which evoke feelings.
And even the sense of touch, sound and smell. Used items which one hangs on to, Are like shelved-away postcards from the past.

Lace Part I, Lace figures frequently in my work.  I painted lace within my sets of miniatures, used it to imprint on plates, for etching, Collography, monoprint and collage.  Lace is a symbol of a woman's life.  Until the early 20th century, women were assigned to domestic life.  The art that they created, namely embroidery, crochet, lace and sometimes watercolours, was not considered high art.  Yet, some of these creations are magnificent compositions.... and what's more, they are generally useful and long lasting (even from generation to generation).  Women spent lonely hours spent on caring for others and seeing the results dissipate into daily life... Lace, on the other hand, was an artistic expression of women as a creative outlet while preparing something useful, which will last.  So was embroidery.  This plate was etched in the soft wax technique, with 4 layers: a lace made by my Aunt Yadwiga, two embroidered handkerchiefs, and a piece of a necklace silver chain.  The lace in this piece is made to look like a window into the serenity of a private inner sanctity...or an opening for better days.  I once told my teacher at an Installation that I would like to incorporate embroidery into my art.  My teacher, David Moore, said:  "All your work looks like embroidery Ilania."

  1. This is the Book of Esther Corporate Style.  Instead of a Queen Esther, it is the top model in a 20th century fashion house (This set was sold).  At the same time, I made another set of 4 larger paintings done in egg emulsion, with this story.  One day I shall find the time to write the story down.)

A set of 7 small paintings (14 1/2 x 19 cm each) in egg tempera (sold). 


Family Tree - 2001 Silk Screen (3 layers plus a monoprint, done with watercolour sticks, over it ) 57  x 37 cm - 5 generations of my family,  Starting with my father's school report from Vienna, my paternal grandmother and her parents concluding with my brother's wedding day, with the symbolic glass that the groom has to crash.  The music notes are my paternal grandfather's composition for a wedding (the 7 blessings) the last layer of flowers is the memory I have of the (Russian) embroidered piano-cover that was used for the "Chuppa" (Canopy held over the couple at  a Jewish wedding).
In 1995/96 I said most of it with flowers, even did paintings that were images formed by a mosaic of flowers.  Then I moved on to dreamy (surrealistic) images in blue.  These, surprisingly enough sold.

(Left: Friday Night's Dream, Acrylic on canvas, 1997, 70 cm x 100 cm (sold).   Right: Friday Evening, Acrylic on canvas, 1997, 40 cm x 50 cm.  (Not available)

In 1996 I started painting the village of Morin Heights in my own style, which some people said it reminds them of Chagall.  The public accepted these and they are gone!

Left:  Morin Heights 2003, acrylic on canvas, 50 cm x 40 (sold)

Right: Morin Heights and St. Sauveur 1997, Set of 2, acrylic on canvas, 120 cm x 45 cm. (sold)

creationGenesis - 2000, an installation in my garden (since destroyed) of 11 Clementine boxes painted in oil, telling the story of creation of the world in 7 days.  The first one (not seen here, was all dark).  The last one on the left had a Menorah, a Challa bread and a wine goblet for welcoming the Shabbat.  Now I paint new ones every year.

Flowers for Alphie, 1998, oil, 3 1/2  ft x 2 1/2 ft, (sold) the flowers in my garden painted 'plein air', Ichenatia, Irish-Eyes Rudbekia and Phlox, all perennial flowers that come back every year to enchant everybody.  The phlox emit a perfume, the Irish Eyes are smiling and the Ichenatia provides remedy.  It was sold.  I had my paintings hanging in a popular Steak House up north.  Alphie the owner, sold it, and was sorry he did not buy it himself.  So he took a shot of it and asked me to paint another one for him. 

The first little landscape painted at the house I live in near at Lake, standing by my kitchen counter, November 1993, acrylic on paper.


Colours and dimensions artwork may be slightly different from the original.

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This site was last updated 09/16/14   Copyright © 2004 Ilania Abileah. All rights reserved.