September 3-October 3
This story was featured in the September 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2013 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Knowlton Gallery owner Robin Knowlton shares a love for still-life and floral paintings with many of the artists she represents. “A lot of my artists live close to me, so I’ve visited their studios and seen the range of their work,” she explains. “Very often they don’t get a chance to show the still-life and floral pieces they create. That’s why I put together my latest show, Bouquets: Gardens, Farmers Markets & Floral Still Lifes. It includes work that’s not usually seen.”
Featuring approximately 40 oil, watercolor, and pastel paintings, the show’s roster of artists includes Lucinda Kasser, Ray Roberts, Peggi Kroll-Roberts, Camille Przewodek, Carolyn Lord, Kathleen Dunphy, Gil Dellinger, Jim McVicker, and Clark Mitchell—all from California—as well as Florian Grass from Germany. The exhibit opens on September 3 and remains on view through October 3, with an artists’ reception from 1 to 4 p.m. on September 7.
Gardens are one of Clark Mitchell’s favorite subjects, although he is well-known for his broad landscapes. His five intimate pastel pieces in the show focus on gardens in Sonoma, CA. “I live on one and a half acres of land and have gardens around my studio and close to my house,” he explains. “My gardens have provided inspiration for my paintings, but I’ve also been inspired by other gardens in my area.” MORNING ARCH came about last Mother’s Day when Mitchell visited Chateau St. Jean winery in the Sonoma Valley with a group of artists. “There were numerous wonderful scenes to choose from, as the roses were in their first full bloom,” says Mitchell. “What early on caught my eye were the views through archways into patio areas. I did this one in the morning to catch the rich light flooding the inner courtyard and the fountain in an urn bubbling away peacefully.”
Sunrise and sunset are the times of day that most interest Mitchell. He relishes the opportunity to paint the fascinating patterns created by shadows on plants. “Having done a sun-flooded-morning painting of the arch on the other side of the winery tasting room, this afternoon view called to me in contrast,” says Mitchell about his painting AFTERNOON ARCH. “I love the natural enticement an arch gives to a viewer to enter and explore. The hot-orange flowers in urns inside were an added temptation,” he adds.
Four of McVicker’s seven oil paintings in the show are depictions of his Northern California gardens in all their glory. GARDEN, AFTERNOON SUN and GARDEN PRAYER are scenes right outside his front door. “I’ve been painting my gardens every year for 23 years,” he says. “It’s a wonderful, ongoing process for me.” McVicker’s three other works are still lifes, for which he is well known. Conspicuously absent are the colorful rugs that often appear alongside floral arrangements in his works. His recent focus is on simpler set-ups. McVicker says all of his paintings have been going through a subtle transformation lately. “They’re becoming more textural,” he adds. “I enjoy building the surface of the paintings.” —Emily Van Cleve
Featured in the September 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art September 2013 print issue or digital download
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