Art Reception: Friday, November 8 from 6pm to 8:30pm
Meet the Artists: Saturday, November 16 from 2pm to 4pm
Touchstone Gallery Member Show
Glimpses New Watercolors by Patricia Williams
One feels a bit the voyeur when viewing Patricia Williams’ latest watercolors. The vibrant still life paintings provide a glimpse into the artist’s life, featuring personal objects, such as flowers and produce from her garden, shells from her favorite beach and well-worn scarves, along with rooms where she lives and paints. The brightly colored paintings are intimate, yet the viewer is kept at a distance by transparent washes and drips of color that partially obscure the images. Slashes of watersoluble graphite define shapes that are at once abstract and realistic.
“The transparency of the watercolor gives these paintings a feeling of light and airiness. They breathe,” says Touchstone Gallery Director Ksenia Grishkova. “It is as if the work continues to evolve and change as you look at it.”
Many of the paintings are small, reinforcing the feeling of intimacy. But the abstract quality of the drawing and application of paint raises the question of what is real, what is imagined and what is remembered. It is left to the viewer to decide.
This series was inspired by a class that explored the still lifes of artists such as Cezanne, Matisse and Demuth. “I think of myself as a landscape painter,” Ms. Williams says, “and I do think that many of the paintings in this series look a little like landscapes. The class made me realize that there is more to the still life genre than is generally recognized, and I wanted to try my hand.”
On the Bright Side by Pamela Reynolds by Pamela Reynolds
Color — vivid, fluorescent color, unfettered and free, is the subject of Pamela Reynolds’ most recent series of abstract paintings.
Contrasting bold linear pattern with freely-wrought drips, splatters and pours, these paintings were inspired by urban signage, graffiti, psychedelia, and the inner workings of the artist’s own mind. Reynolds works with a “happy palette” that eschews what she calls the “tasteful” and embraces instead wild and flamboyant exuberance.
“This was partially a reaction to the many “tasteful” paintings that I see around me in many public spaces that seem made specifically to be safe and inoffensive. I wondered what it would be like to create paintings made specifically to be “unsafe?”
The artist was inspired by a diverse group of idiosyncratic abstractionists who have also used color as a primary element while alluding to more spiritual themes, including German painter Charlene von Heyl, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and Swedish artist and mystic Hilma af Klimt. In making these paintings, she also became aware that Washington DC has historically been a locus for painting in bright, bold, living color. It was in The District that Sam Gilliam, Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis formed an art movement known as the Washington Color School.
“Recently, the world has felt pretty dark,” says Reynolds. “I wanted to reach inside myself to create intuitive and animated paintings of joy and jubilance that might also feel a little wild. This is as good a moment as any to look on the bright side of things.”
- Wednesday – Friday: 11pm to 6pm
- Saturday – Sunday: 12pm to 5pm
Touchstone Gallery is located at 901 New York Ave. NW. For more information, visit www.touchstonegallery.com.