Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Reflections" by Carol McGill

This month on the walls of 2nd April Galerie in the spot reserved for their featured artist of the month, one will find new works by local artist Carol McGill.  I do not know her personally, but Brennis Booth came up with a long list of adjectives to which I dutifully listened then compressed down to “delightful and bubbly”. If I had not asked about the artist as a person, I would not have come up with such words upon viewing her work. Just another instance where what one sees up front or outside, may not be what lies beneath or behind.

The exhibit is comprised of one triptych, 2 diptychs, and 8 larger single pieces. Flanking the main display are two groupings of small works, 12 and 6 to each cluster, which though hung as diptychs, actually stand alone as individual paintings, priced to let everyone be able to take home an original McGill.  Do not be quick to pass over the pieces looking for colors you may like or some “shapes” that appeal to you. I fear that some will not appreciate the complexities of these color field paintings. For once I must eat my works here and say that titles (though included!) are not really needed (pardon me while I digest some humble pie) because the depth of field, insinuated atmosphere and inherently  mysterious quality of each piece allows for one to create their own worlds.

Landscapes will be the first visual reference your mind will probably make. We tend to process horizontal shapes in blues and greens as a reflection of our environment. Nothing wrong with that at all really as I got lost in visualizing fog shrouded marshes, hazy cool climate coastlines and dusk covered woodland vistas. I expected oil paints considering the layers of staining and soft edges and was intrigued to see she uses acrylics.  The reds and oranges of some pieces are more ethereal as if from the surface of our nearby red planet or the aftermath of some doomsday disaster. Yes one will see some hints of actual trees and a man made structure or two, perhaps to ground us into a specific point of reference, after all she entitled the show “Reflections” which can be either an inner or outer perspective. Because of the variations in formats, one can easily arrange several into their own diptych or triptych layout, although as singles they are luminous gems in any collection of art.  

Each contains what I call a “quiet signature” in the lower corner which is wonderful because it does not overpower or interfere with the surface imagery, but is also a sign of professional ownership. The artists hand is not only their visual work, but also their acknowledgment of their own creation and creative process.  Opening tonight at a preview reception and officially tomorrow on First Friday, I predict that Carol McGill will become one of our local favorites.  

*(I have no idea how or why the font changed in my last paragraph. My computer must have a poltergeist!)

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