A strong theme develops at this time, and continues throughout the rest of Ariane’s work: parallel curvilinear waves give a sense of movement, rhythm and dancing to paintings populated with enigmatic people.More
"Figures in Waves" (Fig. 173) is a large, impressive painting. Its meaning speaks to a deeper level. Among the green, red, and blue waves float a succession of enigmatic figures, ending in a woman with a circle with red spots on her chest. Impressive! The dark, somber male figure at the center of the painting raises the question: what is it?
In her book of sketches mixed with drawings, Ariane wrote down her dreams alongside her notes from class; "This past week at the Met, when we went to see Bruegel’s work I was amazed with the delicate detail work that was rendered. I was personally amazed because often my work is developed impatiently with great frenzy. It was interesting for me to understand this more delicate gentle…"
Inspired by her studies of religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Tantra, Sufism, and texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, Ariane’s paintings often have oriental reminiscences, "Lila" (Fig. 178). Many of her paintings represent the creative feminine force. In "Eset" (Fig. 179) a woman or blue goddess presides over the picture; the painting has fluidity and dynamism; yellow, green, blue, and red play—transmitting to the viewer a feeling of elation; organic figures and thick strokes converge upon an ocher, blue, and pink circle. Her work "Figures on Red¨ (Fig. 021) vibrates with movement, as organic shapes expand on a red and pink background. "Turquoise Woman" (Fig. 001) is curious: a turquoise young woman delimited by a vibrant blue lying on a carmine figure; the colors are pure with a jovial vibe. "Abstract with Roses (Fig. 181) is a delicate painting with Naples yellow and a pink background, peopled by archaic characters in gray and blue; it is elegant and mysterious with a sense of joy.
Although Ariane had no religious upbringing, she was looking for a spiritual truth, to live more deeply and truly with a universal perspective and connection with everything: people, nature, cosmos. She did not seek rational or intellectual explanations, but a transcendent knowledge above our limited thoughts and prejudices, and an experience of unity and peace. This spiritual depth and seeking is transmitted in her mysterious paintings. In looking at them, new and deeper levels open up. There are several abstract paintings in acrylic and ink depicting people drawn with markers. She painted landscapes of different worlds, "Alice" (Fig. 272) is a very cheerful painting, the colors vibrate and dance; some people rest, others climb a tree. "Composition on Blue" (Fig. 005) is an abstract painting where blues and greens reign and has the characteristic Ariane parallel waves; one has the feeling of looking from high above cities and rivers: there is a young couple embracing with a word “Slap”, another archaic and curious couple is at the front, and there are two people drawn in red over a city. "Self Portrait in Blue" (Fig. 088) contains the same transparency and fluidity: Ariane looks at us with that look and profound expression, her hair, transparent blue as water or the sky, merges with the background. There are several sensual paintings from this time, painted with spontaneous fast strokes: pink, yellow, and pink; in "Dance" (Fig. 113) curvilinear lines draw the women's movement; the drawing gives a sense of joy and elevation.
Ariane also created a number of prints. "Windblows" (Fig. 079) is a wood print: it conveys a sense of movement, depicting figures that look to be blown about by the wind. “Ariane and Waves" (Fig. 071) is mysterious with movement, carrying associations of a sea with waves and parallel figures at the bottom, one of whom is herself. "Magical Landscape" (Fig. 085) conveys joy and a love of nature as it depicts an enchanted landscape: insinuating rivers of swimming fish and caves with cute animals.
Ariane brought her deep and abiding interest in mysticism, divination, esotericism and the practice of directing energy to achieve a goal or spiritual elevation to her paintings. More
Several of the paintings from this period reflect Ariane’s interest in myths and archetypes,"¨Protected a Man¨ (Fig. 043) is a collage of an archetypal woman with a red apple set in an abstract landscape peopled by a woman that looks like Ariane and a man. “Dragon¨ (Fig. 042) is another collage. The watercolor "Dyonisus" (Fig. 119) is divided into two parts that are in the golden ratio. On the left side there is a woman, very white with purple lips, which looks like Ariane—her black eyes staring into the distance with a serious and concentrated expression. She wears a transparent dress. Behind her is the Minotaur: taller than her, he rests his hand on her shoulder. On the right side there are purple, turquoise and gray waves behind the Minotaur which appear as a cloak of feathers. Above are two green pines and mountains. According to Greek mythology, Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and helped him out of the labyrinth after Theseus killed the Minotaur. ¨
In 2005, Ariane took courses in jewelry with Olga Piria in Montevideo and then traveled by bus for several months through Uruguay and villages in northern Argentina to film a documentary with Oliver entitled “Manos.” The film features interviews with local artisans and chronicles their work. Returning to Brooklyn, Ariane invested in tools to make jewely. She designed and manufactured pieces in silver and gems in her small bedroom in Greenpoint. A single piece, done manually, took a long time and the price she could sell them for did not compensate for the hours it took to create the work, and so after one or two years she stopped making jewelry. She and Oliver continued to work on the documentary Manos for two or three years. Ariane was very sad when they broke up, and did not complete the documentary that was so close to being finished at the time.
In 2006, Ariane and I went to a yoga retreat in Costa Rica and it was a very enjoyable and unique experience. Ariane always liked massages and she had a session of body talk that piqued her curiosity. When she returned to New York she took bodytalk courses and became a certified practitioner and began to work in a bodytalk center in Manhattan. She was interested in studying the body's systems, especially energy paths of the organism that spread out like the branches of a tree, its effects upon the health and emotions of a person, and how to balance them. She also learned Reiki and cranial sacral techniques. She started going to the meditation group Orkie. I particularly remember one day when I went to visit her—Ariane had moved and now lived alone with her two cats in a one bedroom apartment near Prospect Park. One felt good in that apartment—it had a harmonious atmosphere. One day after lunch Ariane did a cranial sacral massage on me. With closed eyes I saw colored lights and felt relaxed and transported to another place full of joy and peace. At that time, Ariane was painting "Lion in Jungle" (Fig. 016), a brown lion with the legs and arms of a man, who holds his heart in his hand, whose red arteries extend into the jungle delineating the green leaves. The colors are pure and vibrant; violet and red bring out the bright green leaves; the expression of the lion is mystical and with intent.
Every few weeks I went to New York to stay with Ariane for the weekend, a time that I looked forward to during each of the week between our visits. On Fridays, I left work early and took a train or bus from Washington to New York. I enjoyed the trip on the train; I often read a book, and had a sandwich or hot dog that I bought at the train’s canteen. Sometimes when I arrived I met Ariane at the station and then we had dinner in Manhattan, otherwise I took the subway to Brooklyn. We always went for a long walk through Prospect Park. Ariane liked to walk in silence and focus on nature. We stopped to admire a tree, the shape of a leaf, ducks on the lake, children playing in the grass. When we arrived at the other side of the park we went to a nice pastry shop to have tea and chocolate pastries. She always had some plan for things to do: going to yoga, dancing at 5 rhythms, Korean massages in New Jersey, meditation. At night we would go to a restaurant, meet some of her friends, or go see a movie. Other times, she came down to Washington and enjoyed a long weekend with her parents.
At this time, Ariane was also making murals for clients in New York and Washington. A woman commissioned her to do a mural on the wall of a bedroom. Ariane was very excited and made several studies "Red Tree" (Fig. 017) is one of them. The branches intercross in arabesque. The central trunks rise towards the top; the strong red and violet branches seem arteries that stand out against the turquoise background.
She made several paintings inspired by nature. "To the Best Papa" (Fig. 212) is an abstract drawing painted with ocher and greyish blue with figures that look like leaves and tree trunks. Untitled (Fig. 006) has transparency, rhythm, and movement.
She made two series of large drawings in ink, painted very fluidly and spontaneously capturing the subject with strong and fast strokes, thick brushstrokes and the nature of ink make the paint drippings run over the surface of works that edge toward abstraction. More
On the occasion of the demonstrations organized against the US invasion of Irak in 2023, she did a series of paintings. About this she wrote " “I went to several antiwar protests in Washington and NYC photographing them and in turn doing a series of drawings with sumi ink, based on the photographs....When this was completed I realized that, in the more abstract intuitive work I was doing on large sheets of paper, I was trying to capture the idea of activism in the physical intensity of the process and in creating the dynamic compositions”. It seems that the generating force of these works is not the demonstration itself, but rather the intensity that Ariane captures in it, which inspires her to open a new visual path that reveals her great artistic quality and the power of her gifts.
WOMEN is a serie of large ink drawings depicting female nudes, reminiscent of Cezanne's bathers, the women in Degas' Toilet paintings, or the nudes created in the early 20th century in Vienna by Klimt, Schiele or Kokoschka. These women, unlike the previous ones, are not beings in search of an identity, but purely visual motifs in which Ariane seems to be looking for new esthetic paths with a greater capacity for attraction.
In "Woman on Repose" (Fig. 128) one feels the body of the model relaxed resting in an armchair. ¨Woman in Violet¨ (Fig. 309) and ¨Woman in Rose¨ (Fig. 310) are deeply sensual and elegant works.
There is a group of mysterious paintings with strong, red, violet, blue and turquoise colors. More
The painting “Figure with Green Eyes" (Fig. 057) is powerful with a cosmic dimension: the young person with green eyes, her hair a symphony of colors; red, pink and yellow that continues in turquoise and dark blue. It ranges from the light yellows and pinks of the center to the dark blue and purple of the edges. “Figure on Red” (Fig. 051) is cosmic with movement; a girl turns forming a red circle that looks like a red sun surrounded by a yellow aura. "Figures in Pink" (Fig. 052) painted with large, quick strokes hints at faces and legs. In "Abstract with Blue and Red" (Fig. 068) upon a blue background appear red forms in formation, a yellow sun with halo is in the middle of the painting, violet leaves are insinuated, there is a sense of explosion and beginning. The same color palette is in "Self portrait in Red" (Fig. 065). This painting is a portrait of Ariane with concentrated expression and those Persian eyes; the red hair dissolves in the red and blue nebulae on the background.
In 2011, Ariane had the bad omen to start dating Damian McCann. Damian liked rough sports, rock climbing, snowboarding and Ariane sometimes accompanied him. On one occasion she fell and hurt her back, which caused backaches and forced her to stop jogging—an activity she enjoyed since childhood. Running was for her an escape from everyday stress and a valued moment in contact with nature. Another time, in the summer of 2011, she was not feeling well but still went hiking with Damian. Ariane felt ill and distressed and they had a discussion. At that moment she felt her chest harden. It was the beginning of breast cancer. Damian practiced body talk and did not believe in Western medicine. He reinforced Ariane’s distrust in doctors and her belief that she could be cured with body talk or herbs. In April 2012, too sick to walk, Ariane finally went to the hospital and was diagnosed with breast cancer at an advanced stage.
She made a group of very disturbing paintings during this time. “Untitled" (Fig. 055) which makes the viewer face the unknown, Ariane looks amazed or concentrated, in a posture of yoga or struggle, her eyes fixed and wide open, her white legs and arms stand out over a yellow background, a tangled and furious fight between a dark red and a cobalt blue covers the chest and forms whiskers on her face. “Untitled” (Fig. 041) is haunting; the face of the woman is strange with black eyes and a pale mouth; the chest is painted double; the pink sinuous lines over a white background make the picture more distressing. In "Woman with Aura" (Fig. 040) the woman's face is transparent and strange, the eyes are black and deep; electric rays flow out of her body and there is a lilac-blue aura over her head.
Spanish art critic and author Jose Ignacio Abeijon Giraldez wrote about her period in Bethesda: “She no longer looked for answers, but found a connection to herself, began to flow, and let herself be carried away by the beauty of her being and existence, shaping it in these peculiar works. Ariane thus reached that state of great harmony attained only by people who have managed to fully connect with their essential being.”More
I feel happy looking at the floral paintings Ariane made in this period. Many of her paintings convey joy and peace and lead to a meditative state in the observer. They are abstract paintings with joyful colors and dancing strokes reminiscent of flowers or leaves, "Untitled" (Fig. 189) is a watercolor with yellow and orange background with floating figures and parallel lines. "Flowers on Blue" (Fig. 199) evokes aquatic plants, the light blue is soothing and causes a state of calm. In "Flowers" (Fig. 198) flowers dance on a yellow and green background; the painting has a circular motion; the small flowers on the yellow background look like butterflies and contribute to this sense of movement. In "Untitled" (Fig. 195) rapid and concentric strokes and contrasting colors of red and green give a sense of energy and expansion. In ¨Untitled¨ (Fig. 097) the rapid parallel blue lines interspersed with vivid red lines give a crazed feeling of movement.
But she also had moments of emotional or physical pain. Her paintings convey her feelings; they have several dimensions that are revealed when contemplating the painting for a while. She uses the light happy colors of spring (yellow, green, blue, pink) that sometimes contrast with the content. In "Angry Red Legs" (Fig. 194) there are two legs crossed by parallel lines like fire or lightning rising from them. The abstract painting ¨Broken Heart" (Fig. 192) provokes an unsettling feeling, there is a broken heart, and rays and arrows come out of the body. There is a contrast among the spring colors (green, pink, and blue) and the broken heart. In "Untitled" (Fig. 193) there is a female figure with rising lines that look like nerves or lightning. "Woman with Plant" (Fig. 234) is enigmatic; first you notice the pure yellow, red and blue that transmit a feeling of calm and beauty. As in her other paintings, after the first impression goes away one notices a woman.
She made several portraits, some by memory and other modeling studies. "Carmen" (Fig. 187) is a gouache painted from memory. Painted with thick confident dark brown strokes that stand out over the orange and sepia background, red and yellow spots give a sense movement: beautiful.
Ariane always liked nature and daily we went out to walk admiring the gardens in the Edgemoor neighborhood of Bethesda, taking in the colors and aromas of the flowers, watching the shapes and colors of leaves and sunsets. She loved biking around the Cresent Trail with her father and going swimming. We did several trips and Ariane used the occasion to do some painting. “Landscape in Homestead” (Fig. 036), “New York Farm” (Fig. 064), as always, the paintings of this period convey her mood, ¨Cannal¨ (Fig. 094) overwhelms with a feeling of running and fury. In her sketch book she wrote "I do not need to be perfect, I just need to be very clear and focused on what I am capable and beyond making and creating nearly every day my passion - sound - vibration -color" in another place "Passion - love - make create - follow the rhythm - the passion - the love - let it communicate."
Art critic Jose Ignacio Abeijon Giraldez wrote "As Ariane progressed on this inner journey, her connection with nature intensified. Her meditations led her to discover, feel and appreciate the beauty of the natural environment, an effect intensified by the long daily walks she took with her mother through the woods surrounding her house. This resulted in works of great harmony that capture the absolute fusion that existed between Ariane and nature. Her extreme sensitivity led her to penetrate it, to feel it in its deepest essence, to free herself from formal appearance and to enter into contact with true mystery. Ariane adopted an elevated perspective that allowed her to penetrate a supra-sensitive reality, and following the dictates of anthroposophy, she overcame the imaginative consciousness of her New York period, through which she only accessed the transcendental through images. She now found herself in what is known as esoteric consciousness, through which she experienced the essence of things, and understood their meaning and deepest truth—all that was hidden behind the visual and circumstantial quality of her natural environment........In a series of small watercolors made on a beach in Maryland (“Chincoteague Beach” (Fig. 089) manages to capture more intensely than ever her true and profound essential being in harmony with nature. Ariane was going through a hard time and suffering from severe physical pain. It was a bleak day and the sky threatened rain—and indeed in the middle of her work raindrops began to fall. This anxiety is fully captured in these small works, especially in one of an overwhelming, almost abstract simplicity, where we see only a small part of the beach, the sea that occupies almost all the work and a small portion of the sky: the sand of the beach introduces us to the work and the sky is perceived as threatening, but it is the sheer mass of the sea that washes over us, something powerful and overwhelming, violent, with an impressive plastic quality, despite the small size of the work and the simplicity of its composition"
She felt angels and guides; she wrote, “ ANGELS are my most intimate FRIENDS and LOVERS. I trust them and we hold hands. They embrace me in softness all the day and night. I know I can always count on them. They take good care of me. They are my protectors and keep me on a good path.
She did several studies at the Yellow Barn Studio in Glen Echo. More
"Woman on Red Cloth¨ (Fig. 031) is an oil painting of a woman with closed eyes and bright red lips; the red is repeated in the cloth on which she is lying. ¨Woman on Red Stool¨ (Fig. 028) is a black woman sitting on a stool with a gray and lilac background. Interestingly, it depicts her red cloth dripping like blood. In 2012 she painted along the Potomac River in Maryland. The watercolor ¨Potomac¨ (Fig. 099) has the typical quick strokes of Ariane, the yellow, green and blue of this period. ¨Vase with Flowers” (Fig. 100) is a watercolor drawn with strong confident curvilinear lines. In the summer of 2013, we went to a painting workshop organized by Walt Bartman at his home at Tighman Island, Virginia. As always when we were traveling I was in a hurry before leaving. Ariane had asked me to have my things ready the day before, but still when it was time to leave there were a lot of things to do: change the cat litter, finish packing, getting canvas and paints, food and alkaline water for the journey. We had leased a very cute Hyundai hybrid car and finally left. Ariane put music,CD in the player and, as always she worried when I didn’t drive in the middle of the lane. She liked to drive and she drove for a long time. We arrived at Saint Michael, stopped to eat something and still there was a long way to Tighman Island. We thought the island was close but we drove what seemed like a long time on a long road with trees on the right side and we got worried, thinking that we were lost in a desolate place. Finally we arrived to the hotel. The following day Ariane painted “House in Tighman Island” (Fig. 037) and ¨Sunset¨ (Fig. 024).
The big City is the protagonist in various of her early works in New York. More
She was attracted to the energy and creativity of New York. The paintings "Figures on Black" (Fig. 012) and "Crowd" (Fig. 032) capture the crowds and hectic pace of life in New York.
There are several minimalist geometric paintings that conjure places in the city. Some of her paintings have a final whitening that communicates daylight. Her painting "City" (Fig. 101), as with all of her paintings, provokes a question in the observer; it invokes an architectural space without houses or traffic, the clearly drawn tall lamps evoke a highway; "Store" (Fig. 102) a commercial place.
"Ariane and the City" (Fig. 123) communicates her strength and energy: her angular, serious face stands out against the blue background, the straight strokes delimiting the body play against the white cubes of the city in the background. The large white hand on a blue background evinces the characteristic shape of some of her drawings. In the pastel "Girl with Hat" (Fig. 122) vibrating yellows and violets transmit the youth and vitality of the young woman. "Couple" (Fig. 078) expresses sensuality and affection.
The influence of what is now known as urban art can be discerned in works such as "Woman with Yellow Glove" (Fig. 172), "Subway" (Fig. 011) and specially "Crazy" (Fig. 004), painted with swift and zig-zagging strokes, provokes curiosity; the colors are browns, greens, blues and a vivid red. Graffiti first catches the eye, then, as you continue to look, figures emerge: in the center, perhaps the figure of an elf, to the right, a woman. Transparent-greenish heads seem to float, the ochre arms of what looks to be a man are raised, there is one eye on the left corner, and other figures take form.
In 2004 she moved to a neglected loft with big windows and tall walls, probably an old workshop, in Williamsburg with other roomates. Her best friend was Oliver De Lantsheery; they were fellows in Parson and they shared a lot of activities together. They painted and did other projects with Header. In the loft they had working tables, old couches, big paintings they were working on spread on the floor, a hammock in the middle of the room, and cats. Sometimes Oliver prepared delicious dinners. Ariane and Oliver were curious and they liked to explore the city, the small stores, a street, different ethnic restaurants. They organized events and expositions. When Ariane finished her studies, she began the struggle of the artist to survive in New York. A city with a surplus of talent, where employers are accustomed to using artists while paying minimum wage, or without any pay at all, under the guise of an internship. She began freelancing as a graphic designer, a work Ariane placed great value in, and continued the rest of her life. She created designs.for magazines, posters for restaurants, "La Brunnette" (Fig. 081) is a poster for a restaurant opened by her friend Jacques Gautier. There is a group of light humorous drawings. "Chanchos" (Fig. 258), "Who are you anyway" (Fig. 256).