Portland-based artist Yellena James continues to create imaginary aquatic ecosystems made up of amorphous organic forms. She paints mesmerizing flora and fauna that bloom across the canvas in a rainbow of different color schemes. For her latest series titled Antidote, however, she specifically incorporated the hue Prussian blue into her work. It’s a color she’s used for years, but it gained new meaning for James after she learned that it is a remedy for certain toxic metal poisonings. Here, the vibrant ink is used in combination with other media including acrylic and gouache paint.
In her research on Prussian blue, James learned that “particles sequester the negative toxic metal particles and thereby speed up their expulsion from one’s system.” She aimed to replicate it on a conceptual level by thoughtfully placing the color into each piece so that the work itself becomes a sort of antidote. The blue plant-like motifs descend upon the composition; sometimes, they’ve taken it over while other times they are just starting to appear, demonstrating the remedy in different stages.
Portland-based artist Yellena James creates incredible mixed media paintings of imaginary ecosystems.
Her latest series Antidote is inspired by the remedial properties of Prussian blue ink for certain toxic metal poisonings.
James combines Prussian blue ink with other mediums like acrylic and gouache to render her abstract designs.