Agnes Lawrence Pelton (1881–1961) was a painter born in Stuttgart, Germany, to American parents. For the first years of her life she lived in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. At the start of her artistic career she joined the 'Transcendentalist Painting Group'. The mission of this artistic collective was primarily enlightenment via abstraction and the use of Jungian archetypes. Many of its members were involved with Theosophy, along with the study of similar esoteric pursuits. A main guiding figure of this Transcendelitst Group was the renowned astrologer Dane Rudyar. Agnes Pelton had long considered herself a Theosophist, and outlined her purpose for painting in a journal entry entitled 'Knowledge'. She copied the following passage from an unidentified Theosophist:
'Spiritual transactions must be translated into the language of mortal senses that they be understood, so as to be of practical benefit to mortals who desire to be redeemed from mortality.'
She added her own comment:
'This is where the forms of the natural world must appear in a picture, or can do so-not for themselves but to convey thought as future light.'
The quote and Pelton's own comment illustrate her mission: to translate messages from the spiritual to the earthly realm by means of painting. Light is present as both a symbol and a subject in her abstract paintings. It represents enlightenment and ecstasy, as well as inspiration form the higher realms and the creative force of becoming.