Equivalent Palettes

Posted on by Ginnie

‘Nearly always, the formal structure—and space itself—is more compact in the collages than in the paintings. The collages, of course, are smaller and yet that is not the entire explanation, for the details of Gardiner’s images acquire a charge of condensed pictorial power from having been developed and refined in the more intimate medium. Transposed to canvas, her images gain not only in size but in scale. They feel larger, more open. Yet they lose none of the intimacy or the intensity bestowed on them by their origins. ‘

-excerpt from ‘Space and Intensity’, by Carter Ratcliff, ©2016

‘Space is another central concern—but pictorial space, not realistic space. Though her current works seem and in some ways are representational, they’re not painted directly from life, nor do they aim to capture a moment in time. Gardiner works from collage maquettes, a technique she developed in the mid-‘90s so that she could combine photographs, swatches of color, painted fragments, bits of drawing, or anything else she liked, into a unified visual whole. A painting’s structure is determined before she sets brush to canvas, achieved by manipulating the various elements to get the precise arrangement she wants. She has no qualms about using digital technology to facilitate her process, or even to adjust colors; it’s simply another tool, in her mind, to serve the artist’s vision.
The process can take a while, which doesn’t worry Gardiner; she will sometimes spend months looking at a maquette and thinking, “This can’t be a painting yet.” ‘

-excerpt from ‘At Ease with Creation’ by Wendy Smith, ©2015

‘The most absorbing aspect of my studio practice is the translation of the collage study into the medium of oil paint – the creation of an ‘equivalent palette’  that is keyed to the larger scale of the canvas. This  involves, besides mixing pigments and making color adjustments as I develop the painting from the study, optical decisions concerning which pigment combinations will work together physically in ‘knitting together’ the oil paint surface on the canvas.’

Ginnie Gardiner, 2016



About New York ©1996 Collage 10” x 16″


About New York ©1996 Mixed Media Collage 10" x 16".web


About New York ©1996 Oil on Canvas 60” x 96” Diptych


About New York Diptych -300dpi


Is This the Place? ©1996 Collage 17.25″ x 7.75″


Is This The Place? ©1996 Collage 17.25" x 7.75"


Is This the Place? ©1996 Oil on Canvas 42″ x 96″ Diptych


Is This The Place? ©1996 Oil on Canvas Dyptych 42" x 96"


Hightide ©1997 Collage 10.5” x 18”


Hightide ©1997 Mixed Media Collage 10.5" x 18"


Hightide ©1999 Oil on Canvas 24” x 42”
Hightide ©1999 Oil on Canvas 24" x 42" Rubinstein


Opera Prima ©1999 Mixed Media Collage 14” x 11”


Opera Prima ©1999 Mixed Media Collage 14" x 11"


Opera Prima ©1999 Oil on Canvas 60” x 48”


Opera Prima ©1999 Oil on Canvas 60" x 48"


Journey ©1999 Collage 14″ x 11″


Journey ©1999 Mixed Media Collage 14" x 11" PZ collection


Journey ©1999 Oil on Canvas 60″ x 48″


Journey ©1999 Oil on Canvas 60" x 48"



Blue Corbels ©2011 Collage 6″ x 10″


Blue Corbels  ©2011 Collage 6.75" x 10"


Blue Corbels ©2011 Oil on Canvas 36″ x 60″


Blue Corbels ©2011 Oil on Canvas 36 x 60


La Farge ©2011 Collage 9″ x 5″


La Farge ©2011 Collage 9" x 5"


La Farge ©2011 Oil on Canvas 60″ x 40″



La Farge ©2011 Oil on Canvas 60 x 40


May ©2012 Collage 9″ x 6″



May ©2012 Collage 9" x 6"


May ©2013 Oil on Canvas 60″ x 40″


May  ©2013 Oil on Canvas 60 x 40 inches



August ©2012 Collage 9.3″ x 6.8″


August ©2012 Collage 9.3" x 6.8"


August ©2012 Oil on Canvas 60″ x 40″


August ©2011 Oil on Canvas 60 x 40 inches


Barometer ©2012 Collage 10.75″ x 7.3″


Barometer ©2012 Collage 10.75" x 7.3"


Barometer ©2012 Oil on Canvas 60″ x 40″


Barometer ©2012 Oil on Canvas 60" x 40"


April ©2012 Collage 6.4″ x 6.75″


April ©2012 Collage 6.5" x 6.75""


April ©2013 Oil on Canvas 24″ x 24″


April ©2013 OIl on Canvas 24" x 24"


Blue Stripe ©2014 Collage 8.25″ x 9.5″


Blue Stripe ©2014 Collage 8.25" x 9.5"


Blue Stripe ©2015 Oil on Canvas 40″ x 50″


Blue Stripe ©2015 OIl on Canvas 40" x 50"

The Self As Collaborator in Vision and Image, by J.W. Phillips

Posted on by Ginnie

Persian Muse ©2015 Oil on Linen 40" x 30".webPersian Muse ©2015 Oil on Linen 40″ x 30″


In Ginnie Gardiner’s art the self is in relation to the envelopment of the image or painting itself. The image and its abstract implications to which the self is interacting and subordinate is consistent and complete, intentional and selected. It is as deliberate at the alternative takes of a jazz variation.

The tradition of the self-portrait is, on a practical level, an outgrowth of the simple and practical truth that using one’s self is a practical tradition taking advantage of the most freely available model for every artist. We are always present to ourselves. “I is always the person always here.”

In similar passages of connubial practicality, our mate is the second most available, as demonstrated by Mrs. Bonnard (almost always ‘Madame’ in titles rarely ‘Marthe”), or Amélie Matisse.

But, convenience of the self for the artist also presents a fundamental question of consciousness in relationship to that self. It is a question more easily subordinated to live process when using a model other than oneself traditionally, because observation is less mitigated by the interactivity of observing oneself observing oneself. Photography, working from drawings (as Bonnard always did) and the distances provided by modern technology have both widened and closed that ontological expanse.

Beyond its ontological implications, the use of the self as a prop or model versus the use of the model as a projection of the self, is also the unique provenance of the artist. Cindy Sherman has explored one half of this trope and dress up and morphology has been her oeuvre. But, in Ginnie Gardiner’s art the self is in relation to not a costume but to the envelopment of the image or painting itself – the act of placement and imagery with the artist in the role of the knowing collaborator and manipulator. The mirror, the camera, and the image have merged in our world. In Gardiner’s art we are asked to enjoy that, in fact revel in its potential for discovery and re-contextualization of art, self, and painting.

-J.W. Phillips ©2016

The Party’s Over, by J.W. Phillips

Posted on by Ginnie


About New York Diptych for GG.Web



Premonitions and alienation flit across the intersecting planes of Ginnie Gardiner’s, About New York, like a long static close up of a gifted actor’s face somehow registering concern, loss, sadness, regret, fear, hope and despair in succession without contorting a single feature, or seemingly so much as lifting an eyebrow.


Its cool palette of dominant blues and greys contrasts with the statico antonym of interweaving montage images.  A diptych, the famous iconoclastic back of Venus shorn of her arms, and once chosen as the symbol of our century’s version of ‘vanitas’ – as the seal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, our high priests of Narcissus holds the center.  But, this Aphrodite, back turned and headless, stands in the breach, between the two planes of the diptych, her turned back literally filling the breach, or in the parlance of magazine publishing, “Aphrodite is riding the fold.”


The mysterious insets provide the piece with eerie premonition, that seem prophetic in today’s hindsight, but less so, understood in the context of the times the piece emerged from the artist.  There are fingers that reach out and almost touch, and figures or pieces that stand along.  The two inset squares images provide background like a chorus in the foreground; one of symmetrical, spool like forms, has a nuclear, ‘weapons of mass destruction’ type of resonance in its repetitions; the other a figure running past a truck or bus, or maybe a location trailer, is running towards the World Trade Center Twin Towers.


The sepulcher form of a linear described classic profile – the missing head, and ghostly profile painted in white out, looking with eyes closed or eyelids lowered in sleep, sadness, modesty, dominates the right plane as a form that stimulates the psychology of facial recognition always does.  Her eye socket is aligned with the bottom of an upturned champagne glass.  It is indisputably empty, not half empty or half full.  In the background, “inside the head” ghostly blocks of featureless buildings rise half in shadow; the towers again.  The party is over.


– j.w.phillips