Fountainhead Gallery, April 2-26
This story was featured in the April 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art April 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
On Thursday, April 2, Fountainhead Gallery unveils Memories of the French Riviera and Provence, its second solo show of works by Seattle-based painter Valerie Collymore. Visitors are invited to meet the artist on Saturday, April 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. and view the 20 to 24 “unapologetically impressionistic” reflections from the artist’s most recent trip to the south of France—where she spent much of her childhood—including landscapes, seascapes, and a series of bateaux or boat paintings.
An avid student of Cézanne, Collymore brings several of his techniques to the works in this show. One example is rendering the majority of a painting in harmonious neutral colors, then adding a dash of high chroma, “thoughtfully placed.” “How he used color really resonates with me,” she says. “I play with high and low chroma a lot. It really helps me to express light.”
Also like Cézanne, the artist loves juxtaposing architectural and organic elements, so her works often feature the little chapels and cabanons (single-room stone huts) you find while walking through the French countryside. Adding these architectural elements “offers contrast in line, value, color, chroma, and paint manipulation,” she explains.
In what she calls a homage painting, the artist re-creates a masterwork by a famous Impressionist within a larger interior scene painted in a tighter representational style. In the foreground, she includes objects that are important to her—favorite books or items that have great personal meaning. Reproducing every single color and stroke of the master’s painting, Collymore learns a lot about how that artist painted. “A homage painting allows me to explore how some of the master Impressionists did their work,” she explains.
Looking forward to a second well-received show, gallery owner and curator Sue Peterson says, “Valerie’s work is very authentic, mainly because she has such an affinity for the area she paints.” The joy she finds there is what she communicates so successfully. “That’s the point of art,” Peterson continues, “to communicate what you feel inside to another person. Otherwise, you might as well take a photograph.” —Laura Rintala
Featured in the April 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art April 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
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