Created in a neutral palette apart from a crisp red descending line, Uncertain Terms encapsulates Ristvedt's response to the pandemic: cautious optimism. This hard-edge painting demonstrates Ristvedt's ability to communicate through subtle formal relationships and channel her thoughts into visual form. Ristvedt writes, "Uncertain Terms is a simple response to anxiety as the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic began to be felt in its early stages. Rather than remain in that state I opted to paint it out. The red line is an echo of the graphs that chart the progress of the pandemic and symbolizes hope for its end."
Milly Ristvedt (b. 1942, Kimberley, BC) MA, RCA, began her career in Toronto in 1964 after studies with Takao Tanabe and Roy Kiyooka at the Vancouver School of Art. Ristvedt credits Tanabe with helping her refine her ability to see in first year composition, and Roy Kiyooka as her most important educational influence. Kiyooka introduced Ristvedt to the paintings of contemporary artists such as Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella, and Morris Louis who were working in series. This altered Ristvedt's approach to production in the early years. However, while Ristvedt admires the discipline of seriality she prefers to set her parameters after the fact thus allowing exciting and unexpected changes to reveal themselves through the course of painting.
At 24, her work was included in the Centennial Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario and featured at the National Gallery of Canada. She was chosen for prestigious exhibitions in Winnipeg, Paris, and Lausanne. By 1969, Ristvedt was painting large canvases, sharing a studio with Jack Bush, and showing with the Carmen Lamanna Gallery. That same year, Barry Lord observed in Art in America that Ristvedt's paintings were "…more insistent than Bush, more consciously structured than Molinari."