Lori Tremblay
Celestial Territories Paintings
Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Signs in Time
2015
oil on panel
20 x 40 inches

This piece begins to explore planar distinctions within each star group. All forty-eight of the original constellations are here charted in the context of “time zoning.” Intervals of shifting values of light and dark describe the periodic cycling of the stars within their proper sequence. Light and dark variances within each constellation group form some additional planar possibilities for further visual investigation.
Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Lunar Parade (private collection)
2014
oil on panel
14 x 28 inches

In the early process of painting this body of work it occurred to me that I was not just painting but also charting these star groups and as a result of repetition in plotting them in their distinctive relationships I became familiar with their patterns and am now able to locate them in the night sky. As for the irregularity of the shapes they take on by combining them in this linear fashion, I find their awkwardness very appealing and their gestures expressive of the movement of their courses across our field of vision.

Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Celestial Heart
2015
oil on panel
30 x 30 inches

The path of the sun, otherwise known as the ecliptic, is depicted here by glowing constellations. These star groups appear to be moving around an inner light source and carrying that light within the core of each grouping, reflecting from the center outward, as we do ourselves.
Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Solar Parade
2014
oil on panel
14 x 28 inches

This piece addresses the fact that the stars are still present during our day time, even though we do not see them, they are there. Unseen observers perhaps or sentinels standing guard? What do you think they are doing during the day?

Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Territories Last Chapter
2014
oil on panel
24 x 48 inches

Using the concept of time zones and territories, I took the liberty of depicting the last third of the zodiac story as sectioned out parts. Much like an area map of a city, these pieces focus on the star groups and connections of each within individual zones.
Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Celestial Carnival
2015
oil on panel
14 x 21 inches

Brightly colored overlapping depictions of these starry groupings appear to be streaming around an imagined hemisphere in a peculiar pattern. Viewing these shapes from a distant universe, it is easy to recognize their unique qualities and their relationships with each other.

Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Down Under (private collection)
2014
oil on panel
8 x 8 inches

Understanding how the constellations appear from the south can be a challenge from our northern vantage point. With use of a southern planisphere I was able to plot these southern groupings and imagine the other side of night. There are times of the year when we get to see the “tops” of some southern signs which can be very exciting as the opportunity is rare.
Of particular note is the star Antares, the heart of the scorpion, which is a reddish star visible in the southern sky in springtime in the constellation Scorpio.
Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Polar Opposites (private collection)
2014
oil on panel
12 x 24 inches

This depiction of the north and south celestial poles is sectioned into territories by individual constellations. Adopting the classic color palette of political maps from the 1960’s combined with the unique puzzle piece shapes, I found this to be an intriguing ground for the star groups. Though the title has more of a connection to the climate of politics, it is the relationship of territories that holds true to this body of work. The background implies the time zone map nodding to the interconnectedness of space and time.

Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Southern Exposure (private collection)
2014
oil on panel
8 x 8 inches

Glimpsing the patterns of these southern constellation groups as if we were standing below the south celestial pole, this is what we might see. Unlike the northern celestial pole marked by Polaris we do not have a highly visible star location for the southern celestial pole. There is an area of stars near the Southern Cross and the lower portion of Centaurus that contains Sigma Octantis, a very dim star located approximately one degree from the southern celestial pole. The fuzzy area left of center in this painting gives you its approximate area.
Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Ecliptic Glow (private collection)
2013
oil on panel
8 x 8 inches

Seen through a convex lens, the reverse of how we normally see the stars, this view of the primeval constellations “attached” to their decan constellations glows where the line of the ecliptic (the path of the sun) would normally appear. As we now know from pictures seen through Hubble’s lens, there is an amazing amount of color occurring out in space. Ecliptic Glow acknowledges that while depicting the star groups in relationship with each other.

Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Night Dance
2015
oil on panel
14 x 21 inches

Picturing a shell around the imagined landscape of our place inside the space-time continuum, we might see the star groups “attached” like this from the perspective of a distant universe. This painting plays with the idea of seeing them as transparencies in that context.
Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Age of Aquarius (private collection)
2013-2014
oil on panel
8 x 8 inches

Imagine standing on a very distant land in another universe and peering over at our universe. Perhaps this is what you might see. We are accustomed to looking up into a concave lens to view the stars. "Age of Aquarius" is a convex view from another perspective. The constellations are plotted in reverse
of how we are accustomed to seeing them and then “attached” according to their relationships within the story of primeval astronomy. It is the other side of "Ecliptic Glow."

Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Lightbearers
2013-2014
oil on panel
14 x 28 inches

"The darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” Acknowledging the coexistence of darkness and light, every twenty-four hour period the ecliptic cycle repeats yet we only see a part of it. This depiction of the constellations acts as a “bridge” painting giving the viewer a chance to see both the traditional view of charting the stars in conjunction with the way I have chosen to “attach” the decan constellations with their respective zodiacical constellations.
Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Spica to Regulus
2014
oil on panel
30 x 30 inches

From beginning to end, the story in the zodiac is the subject of this summer night sky image. The constellations of Virgo (beginning) and Leo (end) hanging above a long expanse of sky undergirded by the length of Hydra (decan of Leo) reached from the far western sky to the southeast corner of our little clearing in the woods. Spectacular to behold, it was the inspiration for this composition.

Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Milky Way
2013
oil on panel
14 x 28 inches

At the start of painting this body of work came this piece which feels both like a chart and like the night sky as it shifts from late dusk into night. Taking a traditional celestial map approach to charting the north and south celestial hemispheres, included here are the original forty-eight constellations and the Milky Way as it spirals through space.
Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Halo (private collection)
2015
oil on panel
31 x 31 inches

As the Earth rotates around our sun the twelve major zodiacal constellations beyond our orbit appear to hold their pattern relative to our sun, displaying themselves for all parts of the Earth to see. Halo also makes subtle reference to the heliosphere, the bubble-like area surrounding our solar system which protects us from damaging cosmic rays.

Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panels
North and South Polar Perspectives (diptych)
2014
oil on panels
7 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches each

Visually speaking, the shape of the Milky Way struck me as having a similar feeling as the shapes of the continents.....and this perspective allows us to appreciate their relationship and the hand that formed them.
Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Light of the World (private collection)
2015
oil on panel
21 x 14 inches

A cubed sphere representing the harmony of heaven and earth centered within the Vesica Piscis formed by overlapping the northern celestial sphere with the southern celestial sphere combine the symbolism of sacred geometry with more realistic depictions of the essences of such symbolism.

Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Celestial Narcissus (private collection)
2014
oil on panel
11 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches

The cartographic term for this projection of a flattened sphere is the homolosine. It is often the projection chosen when the least amount of spatial distortion is desired.
"Celestial Narcissus" is a homolosine projection of the celestial sphere observing itself in a reflection below. I pay homage to the Renaissance artist Carravaggio with this psychological commentary on the universe seeing itself through humanistic eyes.
Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Circumpolar Milky Way
2014
oil on panel
40 x 40 inches

This piece depicts the northern pole of the celestial sphere. The most prominent stars of our beloved Little and Big Dippers, Cassiopeia, a part of Cephus and the tail of Draco are seen here in relative relationship to the enormity of the Milky Way. We refer to these constellations as circumpolar because they are always visible to us through the year due to our latitude.
What are those other spheres? Other universes?

Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Primeval Writing
2014
oil on panel
12 x 12 inches

The middle section of the story in primeval astronomy is told through the signs of Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, and Aries. This piece emphasizes the “visual writing” aspect of the constellations by letting each group remain linear yet distinct. An even more liberal use of the “time zone” element is incorporated to delineate the three sections of the ecliptic.
Lori Tremblay Celestial Territories Paintings oil on panel
Nautical Twilight (private collection)
2014
oil on panel
12 x 12 inches

According to astronomers there are three levels of light associated with dawn and dusk. This painting’s left section signifies the lightest level, approximating civil twilight, the time when the sun begins to set yet all things are still visible. The central section is nautical twilight referring to that period following when darkness begins to set yet the horizon is still visible. On the right is astronomical twilight which takes us deeper down to the darkness that even eclipses the horizon.


I desire to rediscover old truths and present them in a modern voice. My recent work is inspired by primeval astronomy, depicting how ancient astronomers read the constellations in sequence as story-telling symbols. The twelve constellations of the zodiac are “attached” to their three side (decan) constellations expounding each sign’s primeval meaning. In painting this story I’ve appropriated the visual language of time zone charts and used the celestial sphere construct to convey a sense of sequence and space.  I use star charts, planispheres and various drafting tools to lay out the star relationships accurately, although when it comes to the painting process, I must feel the edge of each shape through only the bristles of my brush thus integrating my being with the subject and the paint surface. It is in the clarity of edges that I find precise integrity of color relationship leaving no margin for ambiguity.
 
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