New Zealand based artist Meredith Marsone’s muted oil portraits reveal glimpses of her subjects in emotional and peaceful moments, “sparks” of realism amidst abstraction. They are typically painted with realistic details juxtaposed against areas of impasto, paint applied thickly enough that the brush or painting-knife strokes are visible. It’s a technique that she admits was borne out of frustration and is an artistically risky one, a process that she details at her Youtube channel and blog, where she recently wrote, “I think the best work I’ve made has been about things that are meaningful to me personally and have been about something I’ve had experience in.” Among her work’s primary themes are her explorations of identity, whether in her self-portraits or how we identify emotionally with others. In her recent “Oblivion” and “Intimates Series”, Marsone makes observations about how we connect to each other through our body language- her paintings capture an intimate glance, a blush, or the slightest touch of skin between the people in her portraits. “Connections are what life and therefore art is all about,” she says.