Vivid Environments by Yellena James Pause Natural Processes to Capture Life in Flux

Following her series centered around the healing properties of Prussian blue, Portland-based artist Yellena James continues to imagine vibrant ecosystems brimming with fantastical life from land and sea. Her delicate organisms appear to float in washes of pastel colors and evoke coral, kelp, and daisies with an unearthly and whimsical twist.

Recently on view at Stephanie Chefas Projects, James’s Origin series works in this vein and explores the most fundamental aspects of existence. “I attempt to capture the instance of inception and freeze it as though pressing pause in the middle of a chemical reaction, and I wonder if these lifeforms are forced into existence by their own needs and desires or the needs and desires of the forces themselves,” she says. Vivid and full of patterned textures rendered in a mix of acrylic, gouache, and ink, the pieces are alluring interpretations of organisms in the midst of change.

James is currently at work on a variety of projects across painting, illustration, and ceramics, and you can follow her latest projects on her site and Instagram. She also sells prints, cards, and other goods on Etsy.

“Relief.” Photo by Mario Gallucci

“Sentience.” Photo by Mario Gallucci

“Flurry”

“Silken”

“Strata.” Photo by Mario Gallucci

“Starry Basin.” Photo by Mario Gallucci

“Repose.” Photo by Mario Gallucci

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