The work in the Guardian Series explores memory as well as the ambiguity of nostalgia. Girl by the Sea and Guardians Series are both inspired by the discovery of a photograph of the artist taken by her mother when the family was in Étretat, France in 1959. Girl by the Sea initially riffs on this one image in dozens of smaller sketches, later developed into “memory flags.” The larger Guardians Series eliminates the peripheral details of the memorialized Étretat photograph and brings the ever-changing girl holding the bird front and center. Working through the losses and grievances inherent in a personal history – especially the sudden loss of a mother – Smolen experiences a cathartic release in the creation of this new body of work.
In 2022, new additiions to the Series were added which included the motif of flukes and/or whales.

 

Guardian Series/2019 >
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to birch panel
Étretat
2018
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to birch panel
51 x 31 inches framed

First large painting in the Guardian Series
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Ink on Arches Oil paper
Kiki
2018
Ink on Arches Oil paper
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches Oil Paper to Panel
Hermione
2019
Oil and ink on Arches Oil Paper to Panel
51 x 46 inches framed

Guardian Series
Private Collection
New York, New York
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to panel
Uki (aka The Waggle Dance Code)
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to panel
51 x 46 inches framed

Guardian Series
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
Cosima
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
Tasia
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
Lavender
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil, ink, graphite on Arches oil paper
Anjij
2019
Oil, ink, graphite on Arches oil paper
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
Micky
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
Dree
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to panel
Saskia
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to panel
51 x 31 inches framed
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches paper to Panel
Atiqtalik (Polar Bear Mother)
2019
Oil and ink on Arches paper to Panel
51 x 31 inches framed
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Ink on Arches oil paper
Zoe
2019
Ink on Arches oil paper
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
Seraphina
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to Panel
Tapeesa (Arctic Flower)
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to Panel
51 x 31 inches framed
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to Panel
Danaë
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to Panel
51 x 31 inches framed
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to Panel
Beatrix
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to Panel
51 x 31 inches framed
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil on Arches oil paper
Iolani
2019
Oil on Arches oil paper
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
Theodora
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to Panel
Thalassa
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to Panel
51 x 31 inches framed
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Sumi ink on paper, thread to fabric
Anastasia
2019 – 2020
Sumi ink on paper, thread to fabric
51 x 31 inches framed

Guardian Series
Collection of the Artist
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil, ink, thread on paper to fabric
Penelope
2020
Oil, ink, thread on paper to fabric
51 x 31 inches framed
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil, ink, thread on paper to fabric
Siobhan
2020
Oil, ink, thread on paper to fabric
51 x 31 inches framed
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to Panel
Greta's Voyage
2019
Oil and ink on Arches oil paper to Panel
51 x 31 inches framed
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil, ink, thread on paper to fabric
Rachel
2019
Oil, ink, thread on paper to fabric
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil, ink, thread on paper to fabric
Jacqueline
2019
Oil, ink, thread on paper to fabric
51 x 31 inches
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Mixed media on Arches Huile to panel
Maya
2020
Mixed media on Arches Huile to panel
51 x 36

Guardian Series
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Mixed media on wood panel
Leila in Forest
2021
Mixed media on wood panel
48 x 40 in

Guardian Series
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Mixed media on wood panel
Margaux by the Sea
2021
Mixed media on wood panel
48 x 36 in

Guardian Series
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil, charcoal on wood panel
Jo Reflecting on Whaling History
2021
Oil, charcoal on wood panel
48 x 36 in

Guardian Series
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Oil on wood panel
Alex with Whale & Her Calf
2021
Oil on wood panel
48 x 36 in

Guardian Series
ELENI SMOLEN Guardian Series/2019 > Mixed media on wood panel
Tanya in Deep Water
2021
Mixed media on wood panel
48 x 36 in

Guardian Series