Saturday, May 12, 2012

Field trippin'

Disclaimer: I'm holding a teething, squirmy, 6-month-old in my lap as I type, so forgive any typos, please.

I'm excited about the painting I'm currently working on, but there's one part that's just driving me crazy! I can't seem to get it right and I just can't seem to leave it alone. So, I'm going to force myself to take a break from it. You know what that means...
Today I visited the Loretta Goodwin Gallery a well-established gallery in the Lakeview District of Birmingham which bills itself as "Birmingham's premier fine art gallery." I must say, I was very impressed. A charming courtyard welcomes you off the street and into the gallery where neutral colors form a backdrop for an array of styles. The staff seemed very friendly and knowledgeable and the artwork was beautifully displayed. I, of course, was not able to take photos in the gallery, nor do I want to infringe on any copyrights by posting images of paintings actually hanging in gallery, but let me tell you about a few of my favorite things:

Milt Kobayashi's portraits- The faces reminded me somehow of Toulouse Lautrec. They were lovely.

Bruce Adams' "Tea and Lemon"- We all know how I love simple, everyday items. This painting by Bruce Adams was, in subject, the simplest of all this artist's paintings that I saw there, however it was my favorite. I studied his depiction a turquoise cup and saucer, with slices of lemon for probably 10 minutes. I was especially impressed with the roundness he managed to convey in the string of the tea bag. Sometimes the simplest things are the most important.

Emma Boyd's "Egg Basket"- A beautiful, close up, oil on paper painting of, as the title suggests, eggs and a basket. This another one that I looked at for a while. The eggs looked like they would just roll off the page. Gorgeous! Another painting by Emma Boyd, "Big Yellow Pear," also fascinated me. The pear almost glowed with light and Ms. Boyd beautifully handled the speckles and variations in the pear's skin.

Lee Wilson's "Haven"- "Haven" is completely unlike any of the other paintings I've mentioned so far. It's a large, acrylic, abstract painting. Chaotic splashes of colors suggest rambling brush and wilderness, however the eye is constantly drawn to a clean-lined cabin in the distance. The simplicity of the house indeed makes it a haven from the busy feel of the rest of the painting. There is a picture of it on the Loretta Goodwin website (click Lee Wilson's name above and it is in the gallery), however to truly appreciate it, you need to view it in person. This is another that captured me for several minutes.

So, in short, I think that this excursion from my studio was time well spent. Plus, I came back to my painting with fresh eyes and believe I know how to fix exactly what's been bothering me on my painting. Score!

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