Imaginary Ecosystems Explore Using Prussian Blue as an Antidote Inside Their Abstract World

Paintings by Yellena James

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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.

You can purchase prints and originals of James's work via her Etsy shop, and follow the artist on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with her latest creations.

Portland-based artist Yellena James creates incredible mixed media paintings of imaginary ecosystems.

Paintings by Yellena James

Her latest series Antidote is inspired by the remedial properties of Prussian blue ink for certain toxic metal poisonings.

Paintings by Yellena James

James combines Prussian blue ink with other mediums like acrylic and gouache to render her abstract designs.

Paintings by Yellena James Abstract Ink Painting by Yellena James Paintings by Yellena James Paintings by Yellena James Abstract Ink Painting by Yellena James Paintings by Yellena James Paintings by Yellena James

Yellena James: Etsy | Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Yellena James.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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