Artist VIP 2011: Roseline Koener

Roseline Koener
Colors Texture Rhythm

When you think of African tribal art, delicate papers in pinks and blues are probably not the first things you think of. But to look at this artist’s totem-like creations of assemblage is to hear the drums and agree that her “work is about making music through colors.” And the colors are meant to be celebratory, representative of the artist’s inner person.

The colors have a vibration, an actual healing to them; they are her salvo, brilliant and patchworked in layers. Roseline’s eye takes in vistas in horizontal layers, but her hand creates reflections of infinity in vertical layers as she builds “illuminous depths.” As the colors come to her, she introduces tempura with pigment, cotton, handmade paper and fabric, all organic elements that synchronize with her approach. She embraces the playfulness of the process, ready to “build or adapt” as it comes.

A “canvas” is made by starting with a larger cloth or paper, not just to support the foreground, but as a critical layer that may later reveal a special color or help circulate colors throughout the piece. “I work organically, not from the head, but from another place…when a color comes to enlighten or awaken the rest, it’s like magic…I’m almost painting to receive it, but I cannot plan it…it gives dimension to the rest, holds together the nuances.”

The paintings, free flowing like music absorbing Koener’s rhythms, bring people “joy…always something new to discover” and perhaps “access something spiritual in them[selves] by looking at the painting,” as if the art is an antidote for anxiety and spiritual blockages. Spheres make regular appearances (femininity?) and will take center stage in oranges hues to create a layer almost floating ahead of the others, but beyond that, the work is wholly abstract.

Similar to her work, there are many layers to the significance of Roseline. The work is front and center, but complementary to that is her contribution to art and humanity. She embodies harmony of culture, race, age and nation. She is an avid promoter of fellow artists. And her homestead oasis, where she hosts workshops for people to “uncover their unique inner creativity and their inner child,” is a crossroads of art and humanity.


nada marjanovich

nada marjanovich

Nada Marjanovich is Publisher and Editor of Long Island Pulse Magazine. Prior to founding the title in 2005, she worked extensively in the internet. She's been writing since childhood and has been published for both fiction and poetry.