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Portfolios: March 2015 Curator Reviewed Art
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Blackpool Illuminations seems to be somewhat of an outlier as an agitated night scene among your more idyllic landscapes in local color. While the rough textural foreground of the previous painting titled Coastal Sunset shares some of the compressed foreground, Blackpool depicts the frenzied energy of a glowing urban street. The human presence is clearly felt in the personification of the automobiles, but the piece is also noticeably devoid of actual, individual figures. The front-on view of the car’s headlights is an unexpected confrontational compositional decision; I like that it creates visual tension and action. While the medium isn’t indicated, there is a velvety blackness to the background, making me think it could be executed in chalk pastels. But the fluidity of the marks central to the composition also suggest aqueous suspension. Christmas in Thorton Square shares some of these unusual technical qualities, and the title offers some clue as to the process (pastel on glasspaper). The squiggles of saturated color seem to both glide across the surface of the ground, and sit apart as gestural marks. This scene is more characteristically tranquil and pleasant, but the dotted punctuation of the bright colored lights adds a contrastingly energetic motif and value pattern. I enjoy the breath of approaches to architecture and natural landscapes within your portfolio, and the surprises that come from working stylistically in your chosen medium.
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