Oils heavily thinned with varnish create a quick-drying solution that lends itself to expedient water-color like painting. This technique creates a fluid luminosity on the surfaces and highlights Ethier’s dexterity of hand and gestural economy.
Ethier allows subject matter to reveal itself to him as he paints and, to that end, there is a pervasive sense of discovery in his compositions. Reminiscent of symbolist paintings by Gustave Moreau, he creates mythological citations within an eccentric pastiche of nature and lush interiors. In one painting Pan, the god of pastures and nature, eats canned olives out of the trash; in another, a blue lion contentedly lounges in an armchair. Moments of individual reflection occur as well, as the artist’s infant daughter is portrayed peacefully sleeping in a crib. Whether comedically absurd or a tenderly idyllic portrayal of family life, the narratives depicted are seen as equally fantastical in nature.