Constance Edwards Scopelitis

Narrative Paintings

Initially, I approach my canvases with a deliberate color palette. My imagery comes from a deep psychological place where subliminal narratives emerge through personal icons, mythology and storytelling. I deliberately juxtapose highly rendered figure work with expressionistic pop culture archetypes and abstract mark making. No preconceived compositions exist in the creation of these works. I keep sketchbooks and photo files of the human figure as references for future paintings. I consider my narrative figure paintings to be a free-fall experience as opposed to the exactitude required in portrait art.

Broken Halos

Constance Edwards Scopelitis-Demons Large and Small

My concept surrounds the pitiable character (in us all) who starts out strong with a clean slate, loses steam, gets distracted or addicted and ends up making a mess of things. By the time there is an awakening there may be no repairing the damage. We can exit having redeemed ourselves through repentance, good deeds, etc but our trail of tears follows us in to our graves.

Our lives might read like a mental patient’s doodle pad. Instead of having kept a journal we tattoo our history on our bodies for the entire world to read. Again, pity the person who lives with the embarrassment of being read as a 15 year old (remember the tat of your name on your neck in case you had to look in the mirror to remember who you were?).

Judgment is a funny thing, so easy to inflict so painful to receive. If I were to be defined by the visual art I made 30 years ago, I would burn my brushes. Maybe, I’m just waxing on the power of now. If you thought now was all you had would you tattoo your boyfriend’s name on your ass? Would you tattoo a cross on your back if you had not yet the time to discover another god or prophet? Perhaps most would be rendered frozen, impotent to express anything for fear of being considered trite in the future. But, for us who are brave risk takers perhaps NOW demands commitment and “what the fuck”. There are those who’s genius of youth follows them all the days of their lives. I could handle being judged by the music and lyrics of “Can’t Get No Satisfaction”. If I had to sing it for 50 years I might have to cut my throat.

We don’t know whom a person is by outside appearances. Living in NY is an eye opener because you may be on the subway sitting next to the octogenarian who is credited with having introduced Women’s Studies to the college curriculum. You could be living next door to an artist who had a show in the MOMA during the ’70s. You could be inviting your Super in to your apartment, unaware they served time for rape 30 years ago. You could be admiring an old black daddy at a bar and overhear his lying about being a musician with Miles Davis. It’s too pitiful to bust him. He is so out of touch he doesn’t understand the power of Google on a smart phone.

I remember the first time I learned black folks can be just as prejudiced as whites. Ouch. You don’t know how liberal a pretty blonde can be and you don’t know how conservative a black person might be.

The point is we are like onions with many layers. To be human is to be fallible, faulty, fabulous, and fucked.

Digital Art Media

Constance Edwards Scopelitis- All Life's a Stage

Remaining relevant in one’s own time and keeping one’s finger on the pulse are two credos I keep alive in my artist psyche.

Having had superb formal training at such places as the Art Students League in NYC and having studied with a giant in the art world like Isabel Bishop, I have a foundation for launching in to the 21st c with new ideas of what it means to be a figurative painter.

The impact live performance arts have on an audience is part of the inspiration personally driving me. How can the pursuit of intellectual thought and narratives be interwoven within the structure of two-dimensional painting? Can the historical standard of beauty in “paint for paint’s sake” be truly mixed with contemporary technological media?

My challenge has been to execute work that stands as an authentic oil painting, whether the multimedia feature is experienced or not. I have no interest in imitating life and nature for its own sake. I am a storyteller. My videos are providing an extra “layer” of narrative so that now my stories can be more powerful.