More Paintings: Final Grouping from Crit Folks

In some ways, putting together these posts has been a bit like curating an exhibit. I found myself mulling over which pieces would be best clustered in a single post, and  I got to spend even more time with (the image of) each painting. Having seen them in person, these images reminded me of what I liked about each of them as well as the conversations that revolved around them.

The greatest benefit of the critique for me lies not  so much in suggestions for improvement, but  rather more in the spending of intentional time looking and talking about the work of others. To participate in “critique” sessions means looking long and hard and thinking about art, not just responding thoughtlessly and quickly to it. Of course, there are the instant responses. But my instant responses can sometimes be off the mark. Listening to other people thoughtfully responding opens up the paintings to me, making them richer and fuller than my own limited vision allows.

And so, with that, on with the art:

Jane Erskine, 12 x 16″, oil, 2010

This is a landscape, a plein air, I believe, done looking at  a field in Sauvies Island. Once again, Jane has combined bold shapes and fascinating color. The rhythm of the stripes as they interface with the shapes makes this striking. I apologize to Jane for what always seem to me to be inadequate representation of her colors; my camera can’t handle the rich and evocative nature of what she manages to stir up on her palette.

Helen Kroger, 24 x 24″, Oil bar on board, 2010

Helen said she had shown this one to the group before, but the changes she makes between showings are so great that I generally don’t recognize the new pieces as anything I’ve seen before. [The odd blip at the lower left is the ruler that Susan was measuring with when I took the photo — this was the best photo of this piece that I had so I used it, blip and all.]

Helen inserts the “sun” — the round shape, in a number of her paintings, sometimes so faintly that it scarcely shows, but often there, again, for the initiated.  In this painting I was particularly fond of the rhythm of the light hitting the limbs on the right side of the painting. Perhaps today I’m just getting ready to boogie:-)

David Trowbridge, 54 x 45″, oil on canvas, 2010

David has used a combination of spray paint and a big brush on this large painting and captured the northwest’s mist and glow in an unusually accurate way. The white on the edges was created by (my) cropping of David’s unstretched canvas — David often leaves white around his edges, although we won’t know until we see this one stretched exactly how he intends it to be seen.  The white line on the right seemed to me to be David’s signature need to be as abstract as possible while still maintaining the landscape feel. Without it, the piece might be almost too representational. “Almost” of course is a weasel word; sometimes I can’t figure out why something works in a painting, while I know that it does.

So there is November’s treat — a bit early for thanksgiving, but definitely non-fattening, unless the expansion of your brain adds to your waistline. Now there’s a thought — or an excuse…. –June

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