Southwest Gallery, April 5-May 10
This story was featured in the April 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art April 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Landscapes, buildings, figures, and florals are the subjects of paintings exhibited during the Outdoor Painters Society’s Plein Air Southwest Salon this month. Eighty-two artists have created more than 200 works for the juried show at Southwest Gallery in Dallas, which runs from April 5 through May 10. A ceremony featuring cash and merchandise awards takes place during the opening reception on April 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. The show is directed by OPS signature member LaNell Arndt, and this year’s juror of awards is landscape painter Jill Carver.
“We have artists from coast to coast and all points in between,” says OPS president Tina Bohlman. “While most of the paintings feature outdoor subjects, the show has evolved into an exhibit of works painted in the moment from life. Most works are completed in a single painting session and are characterized by the bold use of color and the freshness of paint application.”
The exhibit includes paintings by a number of OPS signature members, such as John Pototschnik, who won Best of Show in last year’s exhibit. Among Pototschnik’s four paintings in this year’s show is THE RED GATE. While people are absent from this intimate woodsy landscape, painted during a muted, gray day, their presence is suggested by the fence post and red gate next to it. “I enjoy creating paintings of the America we all love,” Pototschnik explains. “I try to paint in a way where people aren’t needed, but the farms, roads, and structures speak of humanity.”
While the landscape around McKinney, TX, does not inspire OPS signature member John Cook, the architecture is endlessly fascinating. “I drive around looking for this stuff,” says Cook about his area’s factories, barns, and grain elevators. “I like old buildings and their interesting shapes.” Cook brings to the show several paintings of McKinney grain elevators and an industrial building.
California painter Mark Farina, whose home is in Monterey County, lives within walking distance of the bay near Carmel Beach. His first work of 2014, CARMEL BEACH GHOST CYPRESS, is featured in the show. “When cypress trees go bare, they’re called ghost trees,” he says. “They have really interesting shapes. Around here, there are a lot of cypress trees on the beach. The ones that are along the coast are always dramatic. The wind sculpts them.” Timing is everything for Farina, who searches for great coastal compositions in the early morning or late afternoon. “Light is the key,” he explains. “The light gets exciting before 10 in the morning and after 3 in the afternoon.”
The Outdoor Painters Society promotes the tradition of plein-air painting through various activities including nine to 10 annual paint-outs for its members. The Plein Air Southwest Salon is usually a members-only show; however, this year artists Kevin Macpherson, Kathryn Stats, and Marc Hanson have been invited to participate. —Emily Van Cleve
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