Ester Roi’s success lies in how she shares her discoveries with an audience: using a unique technique, she helps the audience see an everyday phenomenon in a refined and new light.
Our eyes are meant to pick up cues to make out what a painting is depicting. A drawing is a two-dimensional depiction of a three-dimensional world, so when we see lines converge on a piece of paper, our eyes read them as an object moving away from you into perspective, when in reality the lines are parallel
I find Ester Roi particularly successful because we can still make out what she is depicting even when one of those cues is not at her disposal. If we look at water in its essence, it is transparent, colorless, and fluid, when those properties are depicted, our eyes tell us we are looking at the water. Roi is able to imagine and depict what is still identified as fluid and transparent water while injecting color into it. Her pieces are bursting with color
When an artist magnifies, exaggerates, or pushes to the extremes, it helps understand the object or phenomenon of study. From Ester Roi: ‘…I have been painting flowers and rocks and their interaction with water. I study them above and below the surface and observe how their visual characteristics change and relate to each other. I relish the contrast between a solid rock above the surface and its restless reflection below…Water transforms everything it touches: hard lines become soft, warm colors cool, solid shapes break down into parts. Realism evolves into abstraction and the ordinary becomes extraordinary. The interplay between these realms is an endless source of inspiration for me.’
Roi’s successful manipulation of the media and the command she has on it has reached an extent that drawing no longer becomes just drawing but rather drawing, painting, and sculpting all together: She has developed a technique that melts colored pencils, artist crayons, and oil pastels onto a heated board, an invention she called the Icarus Drawing Board®. ‘The heat helps soften or melt the waxy pigments so they can be easily manipulated and blended in a painterly fashion…[The Icarus Technique] is the perfect method to achieve the smooth gradations and dissolving hues that permeate my art.’
Her pieces are studies of phenomena she has observed in nature, an interaction of two objects, a solid and fluid, yet her paintings transport the viewer to a different world. I, personally, won’t ever see the union of rocks and water the same again.
By Aiysha Alsane