Julie McNiel paintings
Pearl Duct
acrylic, glitter, enamel painting on wood.
4 x 6'

A blue-tinted woman sits amongst the clouds. Multi-colored pearls, some coated with glitter, float about her and disperse into the sky. These pearls appear to be emanating from her, fish roe cascading downriver, under an unknown constellation of stars. In this twilight world are several silhouetted trees, specifically coastal redwoods. Fog and ocean are suggested, and to the left, three oil rigs are painted diagrammatically. The rigs spew a sparkly bluish fluid. Pollination occurs. But the woman's blood-less skin tone and the somewhat 'artificial' lighting of the scene (powder blues, cool lemon, pinkish-cadmium) indicates that she is actually a ghost or resident of Glamour Wood, which is not a real place but an in-between place.

Pearls are abnormal growths which form around a parasitic worm or other foreign body within the shell of some mollusks. In this painting and others in the series, coastal redwoods serve as props for Glamour Wood. They are the tallest trees in the world, found only on the coast of California and parts of Oregon and Washington. Redwoods can live to 2000 years, although few of the old ones remain. Preservation of these trees has long been a controversial issue on the north coast - they are historically the real 'gold' of northern California, where timber has been one of the most important industries.