The figurative paintings of Vanessa Garwood are intimate portraits of transient moments captured in the street, at home, or out in the natural world. She uses complementary and analogous colors to create dynamic formalist compositions within representational imagery. “I always work from life and use daylight, setting up scenes in my studio and renting costumes from the national theater warehouse,” Garwood has said. Her work evinces a quiet theatricality. Suriname (2014) features a woman in a black Victorian dress, half hidden by tropical flora; the sensuous silk folds of the dress are diametrically opposed to the lush vegetation surrounding the figure, but they also mirror the jungle’s tactility and grace. Is she a colonist, or a lover of gardens? Is she misplaced? Through her tenuous brushwork and the juxtaposition of human forms and landscapes, Garwood creates ambiguous narratives and invites the viewer to flesh out the details.