“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.