I have eight new paintings at the State of the Art Gallery for the month of January. Ten members of the gallery are exhibiting in TAKE TEN, which kicks off a full year of the gallery celebrating the anniversary of its 30th year. The show will run January 2-27, with an opening reception Friday, January 4, 5:00-8:00 pm.
“The rare moment is not the moment when there is something worth looking at, but the moment when we are capable of seeing.” Joseph Wood Krutch.*
This series of paintings celebrates the ordinary as extraordinary. After a summer of traveling to exquisitely beautiful destinations, coming home with a gazillion great photos, I thought I was all set to create a series of oil paintings referencing my recent vistas. However, nothing struck me as immediately paintable, neither distant mountain views, nor roaring surf, rushing gorges, peaceful farms sloping down along the river. All the places that I recently found so enchanting left me uninspired. I resumed my familiar daily walks close to home through Cass Park and beyond the marina into the wild wetlands and along the many local trails – places I thought were drained of their visual potential. One day, in one moment that was somehow different from the ten thousand moments before that, I finally became capable of seeing. The same old weeds and trees, goldenrod, common mugwort, wetland grasses, box elder and cottonwoods were new again in sun and cloud and the tossing of the wind. I also began to see my travel photos as dynamic compositions; and included some landscapes from Cape Cod here as well.
* Joseph Wood Krutch (November 25, 18
93 – May 22, 1970) was an American writer, critic, and naturalist,
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After hanging my show at the State of the Art Gallery in April, I had a bit of a dry spell. Most of my energy went into travel and visiting friends during the spring and summer months. I was in some incredibly beautiful locations in the northeast – the mountains of New York State, the coast of Massachusetts and Maine, Canada’s St. Lawrence all the way out to Nova Scotia, and some wild places in southern Florida. I thought I’d be painting in all of these lovely places, but that was not to be, except for the trip to Maine, in the company of my long time painting buddies, which yielded one plein air painting. I had to accept that the friends I was visiting, some of whom I hadn’t seen in decades, deserved all of my attention. I took hundreds of photographs and thought for sure I would return to Ithaca to be a veritable fountain of creativity, but in fact, nothing moved me to canvas until I resumed my daily walks along the Cayuga inlet waterfront trails. The multitude of subtle color shifts in greens and yellows in the tangle of vine and woods, the slow unfolding of bud and seed, along with the dramatic skies of a wet and stormy late summer caught me and lit my fires again. Painting requires time and space of mind to let creativity wander in.
During December and January, at CSMA, I will be exhibiting a new landscape in oil, Jellison Cove Study, in their Annual Open Show. It was painted outdoors on a June morning last summer in Maine, as the tide came in. The sun shone brightly, the seagulls soared overhead, quarreling with each other about which fish rightfully belonged to whom, and the strong wind almost carried away the painting, easel and all.
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I have paintings on display at Transformations Hair and Body Salon until May 26.
You can see their website: Transformations Hair and Body Salon.
The paintings in this exhibit are abstracts from the series Color and Shape which I worked on from November 2016 to December 2017, and a few earlier works. For the past three years, I have been working on abstract paintings in the winter and landscapes during spring through fall. It makes sense, at a time when it is too cold to paint outdoors, when nature strips all but the most subtle color from the landscape. There is a delicious freedom in painting totally without expectation and a wonderful whimsy to exploring color. I can let the paint, as it is laid down on the canvas, dictate the next stroke and the next color choice. It becomes a dialogue between the painter and the painting.
Orange with Triangles is an example of playing with complementary colors*; and my goal here was to make the triangles seem to float out away from the background orange-ish color. The yellow explorations and blue etudes were exercises in analogous color**. The blues created especially quiet and peaceful paintings, but I didn’t succeed in creating a painting of interest without using complementary color, however pale it might have been. That will remain a challenge to me for future exploration.
*Arranged on a color wheel, complementary colors are opposite from each other and when mixed together will create black, such as orange/ green, yellow/ purple – things you wouldn’t want to mix in your wardrobe, unless you want a very dramatic look.
**Analogous colors come in groups of three , and are next to each other on the color wheel. Examples are yellow/ red/ orange, – blue/ green/ yellow. Mixing analogous colors will create a new version of the original color – no drama there.
The paintings at Transformations are for sale, and if you would like to purchase one, leave a check or cash with the Transformations staff. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 607 275 7891. More paintings can be seen on my website www.ozolins.com
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As I sat in the State of the Art Gallery last Saturday, I thought about my friends who are far away and will not be able to get to see this show, Inner Worlds/ Outer Worlds. I thought it would be nice to do a video walk through catalog so anyone who is unable to get to the gallery will not have to miss seeing this collection of paintings. The first file contains the five paintings along the east wall of the gallery.
The next file contains the paintings on the long south wall of the gallery.
This last file has the two cloud-scapes adjacent to the front window.
Permanent link to this article: http://ozolins.com/video-catalog-for-april-at-soag/
“Inner Worlds/Outer Worlds – Two Views,”
Painting and Sculpture, Jane Dennis/ Diana Ozolins
Dennis’s metaphorical paintings and sculptures explore the psychological and bureaucratic structures that people create to order or disorder their world, while Ozolins’s realistic landscape paintings celebrate the beauty and wonder of our natural world. Show dates: April 4 – 29, 2018 with a reception for the artists, Friday, April 6, 5-8pm. Hours: Wed., – Fri., 12-6pm and Sat. & Sun., 12-5pm. 120 W. Martin Luther King, Jr./State Street; curbside parking and ADA accessibility. Contact info: 607-277-1626 and www.soagithaca.org
For a few years I have been alternating between abstract color exploration and landscape painting. The paintings in this show use the forms and colors of nature as their reference material and include recent plein air landscape paintings, a cloud series, and a continuation of the Cascadilla Gorge series which includes two larger pieces done in studio this year.
As soon as the weather warms up in early spring, I pack up my portable kit with oil paint, palette knife, and a small canvas. Painting venues last summer were Cass and Stewart Parks, Cascadilla Gorge,
Buttermilk Falls, and the Ithaca Farmer’s Market to name a few. Orchard Park and Lousianna Swamp are larger paintings that I did in Studio from smaller acrylic sketches done on location while traveling in Oregon and Louisianna.
The cloud series came about as a result of traveling through the open countryside of north and western New York State during this past very wet and stormy spring and early summer. I took a lot of photos through the car’s windshield, and from stops along the side of the road. Massive clouds, whispy clouds, all sorts of clouds arranged themselves up there for my inspiration. I painted the cloud-scapes in the studio with the palette knife, brush, and a variety of other materials to apply paint, scrape it off, and blend colors. It was quite a challenge getting the images to appear light and to float instead of looking like ominously heavy objects that would crush the observer. Although, there is always that element of danger in a storm, like the one’s that delivered crushing blows to Texas, Florida, and the Carribean Islands
The Cascadilla Gorge series started in 2016, and continued last summer. The Gorge walk had been closed for repairs for several years. It was finally opened up again that summer. Frequent walks up the trail bowled me over with beauty and I painted during the early morning hours. Because of the drought that first summer, I was able to get great vistas, sometimes standing in the very middle of the dry creek. I used palette knife on 14×18 canvas. The trail was closed again in early October when the rains came. The soil was so dry that it was unstable and when the downpour hit, another round of repairs was needed. It was a joyous day when the trail opened up again Spring of 2017. That summer I walked late in the afternoon. There was water in the creek that made enchanting reflections of light. I took photos and painted two large scale versions of Cascadilla creek this past winter. When working from photos it is important to remember that they are only reference material, and the painting is not intended to duplicate the photograph. I used a brush on the rough surface of these canvases, rather than my usual palette knife.
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