Gardner’s canvases resemble acts of nature more so than the profoundly contemplated paintings they in fact are. A fallen leaf, the bough of a tree left barren by the onset of winter, the skin of ripening fruit, roots below the surface of the earth; she masterfully conveys aromas, flavors and the essence of time passing onto the surface of her canvases.
Her abstract allegories allude to commonplace natural artifacts and moments in time, yet they hover at the horizon of understanding, like archetypal talismans containing the knowledge of the unfathomable secrets of nature. Reds so crimson you can feel them pulsing through the canvas; leafy greens that smell of spring in the Celtic highlands, ruby-fire opalescent tears enmeshed in a fleshy matrix of leather and wood.
Concepts alluded to but not entirely revealed, her creations evoke a sense of wonder similar to the feeling one experience’s when witnessing subtle forces of nature at work. Challenging the senses with their ephemeral nuances, yet as accessible to the soul as if enjoying a stroll down a favorite garden pathway.
Gardner’s strength lies in the intensity of her commitment to her process. Several of her paintings require years of continuous work before completion. Stratum upon stratum of complex pigment coalescing on canvas not unlike memories embedded throughout the spectrum of consciousness. The subtleties in her work can catch you by surprise as you stand facing a painting only to discover another painting residing below the surface of the first and yet another hidden pattern emanating from within the more obvious first impression.
Not a speck of pigment is out of place, not a single molecule of ground earth applied by chance. As much as her paintings appear to have been snatched from nature and cast upon canvas, you will find her compositions are carefully and meticulously executed one brush stroke at a time. No perfunctory strokes are present, only inspired gestures of movement from hand, to brush, to canvas; executed like a grand symphonic orchestration.