Deirdre Sullivan-Beeman’s “Heavy Water” brings new paintings from the surrealist to La Luz de Jesus Gallery, inspired by the substance created from tap water for nuclear energy research in the 1930s. Using oil and egg tempera on aluminum panel, the artist’s works have a particular glow, implementing centuries-old techniques for the effect. The show runs Oct. 4-27 at the space.
Hollywood based artist Deirdre Sullivan-Beeman adds an enchanting, fairytale-like charm to her paintings made by a 14th century technique of oil paints and egg tempera. Her youthful images evoke the romance and luminosity of works by Old Master painters like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, combined with elements taken from religion, legends, and glyphs or pictograms, used to tell her stories. Her primary subject is often a little girl, sometimes wearing a pinafore dress, depicted wandering in a nonsensical realm with talking flowers and white rabbits, recalling images from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The main source of Beeman’s unique mythology, however, comes from her own personal experiences and what she writes down in a dream journal that she has kept over the years.