Painter Carol Francine Swagel used to spend a lot of time at Lake Pleasant water-skiing with her family. Shes not sure what the lake looks like now, but nature, loss, and memory have propelled her to create the works in Metamorphosis: New Paintings by Carol Francine Swagel at Vault Gallery.
Just as a skier crosshatches the surface of the water, Swagels nontraditional implements, such as rulers, move thick layers of paint across her canvas. The layers hide objects -- a key, a bead, or a baby spoon -- that can only be seen upon close inspection.
Swagel doesnt set out to represent a particular thing but eventually arrives at a specific idea. One painting on Plexiglas depicts the scene at a Los Angeles beach as observed from a moving car. Another piece reflects on a beloveds hospitalization as imagined by an evolving psyche.