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The Fire and the Rose

This concept of order, disorder, and reordering is central to my work. Scientists talk of order and randomness, of entropy, and of eternity’s eventual end when all differences disappear. Yet, I am an optimist. I see life as an anti-entropic force for order. In my work, I constantly propose not a duality of life and death, but an endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

The Fire and the Rose series employs a philosophic message based upon Little Gidding, a poem by T. S. Eliot. Little Gidding is the final poem of four in Eliot’s masterpiece, The Four Quartets, as well as the last major poem he wrote and, in the opinion of many, a summing-up of his life-long aesthetic and spiritual quest. One appeal of the poem for me is Eliot's implication that one can be redeemed from time; according to one critic, "He has found immortality not in living forever, but by living in a moment that transcends time."

All the larger paintings incorporate words from Little Gidding into the paintings thereby helping create a grid composed of "ordered," horizontal lines of paint and "hidden" words that are "disordered" by the (seeming) randomness of vertical drips. Later paintings in this series create more "order" by imposing a painted frame that, often, is "violated" by a disordering, gestural stroke.

The title for The Fire and the Rose also comes from a line of poetry by T. S. Eliot:

When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

See Eliot, T. S. The Complete Poems and Plays 1909-1950, Harcourt, Brace and Company: New York, 1952, Choruses from "The Rock": IX, p.112 and "Little Gidding," p. 145

Color image of Swartz painting: And to make an end is to make a beginning
© 2003
BASID #564 (SOLD)


Color image of Swartz painting : And next year's words await another voice
© 2004
BASID #580
Beth Ames Swartz
And to make an end is to make a beginning
acrylic on canvas
60" x 84" (1.52m x 2.13m)
2003
  Beth Ames Swartz
And next year's words await another voice
acrylic on canvas
60" x 84" (1.52m x 2.13m)
2004

Color image of Swartz painting: To be redeemed from fire by fire
© 2003
BASID #561 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: Love is the unfamiliar Name
© 2003-2004
BASID #593 (SOLD)

Beth Ames Swartz
To be redeemed from fire by fire
acrylic on canvas
48" x 72" (1.22m x 1.83m)
2003
Beth Ames Swartz
Love is the unfamiliar Name
acrylic on canvas
48" x 72" (1.22m x 1.83m)
2003-2004
Color image of Swartz painting: But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
© 2003-2004
BASID #588
Midwinter spring is its own season
© 2005
BASID #618
Beth Ames Swartz
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
acrylic on canvas
54" x 66" (1.37m x 1.67m)
2003-2004

Beth Ames Swartz
Midwinter spring is its own season
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
48" x 72" (1.22m x 1.83m)
2005

Color image of Swartz painting: Being between two lives
© 2003
BASID #568 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree are of equal duration
© 2003
BASID #567 (SOLD)

Beth Ames Swartz
Being between two lives
acrylic on canvas
60" x 60" (1.52m x 1.52m)
2003

Beth Ames Swartz
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree are of equal duration
acrylic on canvas
60" x 60" (1.52m x 1.52m)
2003

Color image of Swartz painting: And all manner of things shall be well
© 2004
BASID #569 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: And the fire and the rose are one
© 2003
BASID #566 (SOLD)

Beth Ames Swartz
And all manner of things shall be well
acrylic on canvas
48" x 60" (1.22m x 1.52m)
2003-2004

Beth Ames Swartz
And the fire and the rose are one
acrylic on canvas
48" x 60" (1.22m x 1.52m)
2003

Color image of Swartz painting: The brief sun flames the ice in windless cold that is the heart's heat
© 2003
BASID #571

Color image of Swartz painting: In concord at this intersection time of meeting nowhere, no before and after
© 2001-2004
BASID #592

Beth Ames Swartz
The brief sun flames the ice in windless cold that is the heart's heat
acrylic, holographic film & mixed media on canvas
48" x 60" (1.22m x 1.52m)
2003
Beth Ames Swartz
In concord at this intersection time of meeting nowhere, no before and after
acrylic on canvas
48" x 60" (1.22m x 1.52m)
2001-2004

Color image of Swartz painting: The brief sun flames the ice in windless cold that is the heart's heat
© 2003
BASID #570 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: In concord at this intersection time of meeting nowhere, no before and after
© 2005
BASID #608 (SOLD)

Beth Ames Swartz
The parched eviscerate soil gapes at the vanity of toil
acrylic, paper and mixed media on canvas
48" x 60" (1.22m x 1.52m)
2003
Beth Ames Swartz
I pray you to forgive both bad and good
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
48" x 60" (1.22m x 1.52m)
2003

Color image of Swartz painting: The voice of the hidden waterfall
© 2003
BASID #560 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: The dove descending breaks the air
© 2003-2004
BASID #594

Beth Ames Swartz
The voice of the hidden waterfall
acrylic on canvas
60" x 48" (1.52m x 1.22m)
2003

Beth Ames Swartz
The dove descending breaks the air
acrylic on canvas
60" x 48" (1.52m x 1.22m)
2003-2004

Color image of Swartz painting: Let me disclose the gifts reserved for age
© 2004
BASID #607

I pray you to forgive both bad and good
BASID #617

Beth Ames Swartz
Let me disclose the gifts reserved for age
acrylic on canvas
60" x 48" (1.52m x 1.22m)
2004
Beth Ames Swartz
I pray you to forgive both bad and good
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
60" x 48" (1.52m x 1.22m)
2005

Color image of Swartz painting: Between melting and freezing the soul's sap quivers
© 2004
BASID #577 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown
© 2004
BASID #578 (SOLD)

Beth Ames Swartz
Between melting and freezing the soul's sap quivers
acrylic on canvas
36 " x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)
2004
Beth Ames Swartz
Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown
acrylic on canvas
36 " x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)
2004

Color image of Swartz painting: A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon
© 2004
BASID #579 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: Words sufficed to compel the recognition they preceded
© 2004
BASID #589 (SOLD)

Beth Ames Swartz
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon
acrylic on canvas
36 " x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)
2004
Beth Ames Swartz
Words sufficed to compel the recognition they preceded
acrylic on canvas
36 " x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)
2001-2004

Color image of Swartz painting : He left me, with a kind of valediction, and faded on the blowing of the horn
© 2004
BASID #591 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: f you came this way in may time, you would find the hedges white again
© 2004
BASID #602 (SOLD)
Beth Ames Swartz
He left me, with a kind of valediction, and faded on the blowing of the horn
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
36" x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)
2004
Beth Ames Swartz
If you came this way in may time, you would find the hedges white again
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
36" x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)
2004
Color image of Swartz painting: Water and fire succeed the town, the pasture and the weed
© 2004
BASID #603 (SOLD)
Color image of Swartz painting: This is the use of memory: for liberation
© 2004 BASID #604
Beth Ames Swartz
Water and fire succeed the town, the pasture and the weed
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
36" x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)
2004
Beth Ames Swartz
This is the use of memory: for liberation
acrylic and holographic film on canvas

36" x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)
2004

Color image of Swartz painting: While the light fails on a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
© 2004
BASID #590 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: All Things
© 2002-2004
BASID #595

Beth Ames Swartz
While the light fails on a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
acrylic on canvas
36 " x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)
2004
Beth Ames Swartz
All Things
acrylic on canvas
48 " x 36" (1.22m x 0.91m)
2002 -2004
Renewed, transfigured, in another pattern
© 2005
BASID #626
The rest is grace
© 2005 BASID #627 (SOLD)
Beth Ames Swartz
Renewed, transfigured, in another pattern
acrylic, paste and holographic film on canvas
36" x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)
2005
Beth Ames Swartz
The rest is grace
acrylic, paste and holographic film on canvas
36" x 48" (0.91m x 1.22m)
2005

Color image of Swartz painting: Now the hedgerow is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom of snow
© 2003
BASID #546 (SOLD)

Color image of swartz painting: When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire
© 2003
BASID #547 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: Between two waves of the sea
© 2003
BASID #548 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: Now it is an incantation to summon the spectre of a Rose
© 2003
BASID #549 (SOLD)

Beth Ames Swartz
Now the hedgerow is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom of snow
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2003
Beth Ames Swartz
When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire
acrylic on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2003

Beth Ames Swartz
Between two waves of the sea
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2003

Beth Ames Swartz
Now it is an incantation to summon the spectre of a Rose
acrylic on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2003

Color image of Swartz painting: In the uncertain hour before the morning
© 2003
BASID #550 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: This is the spring time but not in time's covenant
© 2003
BASID #551 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: Midwinter spring is its own season
© 2003
BASID #552 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting : As if blown towards me like the metal leaves
© 2004
BASID #572 (SOLD)

Beth Ames Swartz
In the uncertain hour before the morning
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2003

Beth Ames Swartz
This is the spring time but not in time's covenant
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2003

Beth Ames Swartz
Midwinter spring is its own season
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2003

Beth Ames Swartz
As if blown towards me like the metal leaves
acrylic on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004

Color image of Swartz painting : And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
© 2004
BASID #573 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting : Through the unknown, unremembered gate
© 2004
BASID #574 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting : Restored by that refining fire where you must move in measure, like a dance
© 2004
BASID #575 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting : Over a dark lake
© 2004
BASID #576 (SOLD)

Beth Ames Swartz
And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
acrylic on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004

Beth Ames Swartz
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
acrylic on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004

Beth Ames Swartz
Restored by that refining fire where you must move in measure, like a dance
acrylic on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004
Beth Ames Swartz
Over a dark lake
acrylic on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004

Color image of Swartz painting : Yet ease is cause of wonder
© 2004
BASID #583 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting : Where is the summer, the unimaginable zero summer?
© 2004
BASID #584 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting : And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier
© 2004
BASID #585

Color image of Swartz painting : Dust in the air suspended marks the place where a story ended
© 2004
BASID #587

Beth Ames Swartz
Yet ease is cause of wonder
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004

Beth Ames Swartz
Where is the summer, the unimaginable zero summer?
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004
Beth Ames Swartz
And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004
Beth Ames Swartz
Dust in the air suspended marks the place where a story ended
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004

Color image of Swartz painting: Reflecting in a watery mirror
© 2004
BASID #596

Color image of Swartz painting: The wonder that I feel is easy
© 2004
BASID #599 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: Neither budding nor fading
© 2004
BASID #600 (SOLD)
Color image of Swartz painting: Forgotten, half recalled, both one and many
© 2004
BASID #601
Beth Ames Swartz
Reflecting in a watery mirror
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004
Beth Ames Swartz
The wonder that I feel is easy
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004

Beth Ames Swartz
Neither budding nor fading
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004

Beth Ames Swartz
Forgotten, half recalled, both one and many
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004
Color image of Swartz painting: A bloom more suddenthan that of summer
© 2004
BASID #582 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
© 2004
BASID #586 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: in May, with voluptuary sweetness
© 2004
BASID #597 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: If you came this way, taking any route, starting from anywhere
© 2004
BASID #598 (SOLD)
Beth Ames Swartz
A bloom more suddenthan that of summer
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004
Beth Ames Swartz
Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004
Beth Ames Swartz
In May, with voluptuary sweetness
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004

Beth Ames Swartz
If you came this way, taking any route, starting from anywhere
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2004

Color image of Swartz painting: A bloom more suddenthan that of summer
© 2005
BASID #628

Color image of Swartz painting: Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
© 2005
BASID #629

Color image of Swartz painting: in May, with voluptuary sweetness
© 2005
BASID #630(SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: If you came this way, taking any route, starting from anywhere
© 2005
BASID #631
Beth Ames Swartz
Compliant to the common wind
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2005
Beth Ames Swartz
Flame on the wind
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2005
Beth Ames Swartz
In the embraces of that fiery wind
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2005


Beth Ames Swartz
Fire without and fire within
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2005

Color image of Swartz painting: A bloom more suddenthan that of summer
© 2005
BASID #632

Color image of Swartz painting: Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
©2005
BASID #640 (SOLD)

Color image of Swartz painting: in May, with voluptuary sweetness
© 2005
BASID #641

Color image of Swartz painting: If you came this way, taking any route, starting from anywhere
© 2005
BASID #642 (SOLD)
Beth Ames Swartz
Spring has come in winter
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2005
Beth Ames Swartz
The words of the living are wind in dry grass
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2005
Beth Ames Swartz
At any time or at any season, it would always be the same
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2005



Beth Ames Swartz
In the waning dusk I caught the look of some dead master
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2005
It would be the same, when you leave the rough road
© 2005
BASID #643

Near the ending of interminable night
©2005
BASID #644 (SOLD)

Before the urban dawn wind unresisting
© 2005
BASID #649 (SOLD)
The first-met stranger in the waning dusk
© 2005
BASID #648
Beth Ames Swartz
It would be the same, when you leave the rough road
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2005
Beth Ames Swartz
Near the ending of interminable night
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2005
Beth Ames Swartz
Before the urban dawn wind unresisting
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
30" x 30"
(0.76m x 0.76m)
2005

Beth Ames Swartz
The first-met stranger in the waning dusk
acrylic and holographic film on canvas
36" x 36"
(0.91m x 0.91m)
2005

Between three worlds become much like each other #1
BASID #645
Between three worlds become much like each other #2
BASID #646
Between three worlds become much like each other #3
BASID #647
Beth Ames Swartz
Between three worlds become much like each other #1
acrylic and holographic film
on canvas
24" x 24" (0.61m x 0.61m)
2005
Beth Ames Swartz
Between three worlds become much like each other #2
acrylic and holographic film
on canvas
24" x 24" (0.61m x 0.61m)
2005
Beth Ames Swartz
Between three worlds become much like each other #3
acrylic and holographic film
on canvas
24" x 24" (0.61m x 0.61m)
2005

There are three conditions which
© 2005
BASID #623 (SOLD)

Beth Ames Swartz
There are three conditions which
often look alike

acrylic and holographic
film on canvas (tryptich)
24" x 48"
(0.61m x 1.22m)
2005