Records of history and hope for the future of our planet, trees are also a source of inspiration for our Gallery artists.
Drawings of bare trees composed of delicate lines hang on our gallery wall next to works composed of washes, tendrils, and strips of paint that form full foliage canopies. When featured alone, a single tree becomes an intimate portrait. Gathered in forests, copses, and on ridge lines, trees form tableaux vivants that satisfy our desire to anthropomorphize.
Tree trunks are nature’s vertical stripes: painters use them to break up a canvas or frame a scene. Fading into the distance, they pierce the sky. Their rhythm upholds the canopy creating an irregular horizon that moves to a distant vanishing point. Trees are an invitation to abstraction, allowing our artists to visualize alien forms in their scraggly limbs and leaf patterns.
For our Gallery landscape painters, whether realist or tending toward decoration or abstraction, trees supply creative oxygen.
Celebrate a year of art that emphasizes the collaboration between artist and audience in mutual passion for the beauty of our natural world.
Featuring paintings that preserve the ephemeral, our Holiday exhibition prompts contrasts and comparisons. From distant horizons to showered tree blossoms, from layered paint to minimal washes, and from bold color to subtle hues—these formal explorations reveal and deconstruct what we love about our landscape.
THE OAK GROUP STATE OF HARMONY …a show benefiting Coastal Ranches Conservancy for the Gaviota Creek Restoration Project
Beautiful Gaviota Creek is spring-fed and usually flows year-round. Its important ecosystem supports the habitat of many sensitive species including Black Bears, Coastal Newts, Western Pond Turtles and the endangered Southern Steelhead. The Oak Group is partnering with Coastal Ranches Conservancy to gather resources to revitalize portions of the creek and floodplain, to create an unimpeded migration passage for the steelhead and to restore the creek’s estuary and floodplain.
Mirroring the surrounding landscape, these paintings of inland water give us a feeling of escape and introspection.
Lakes and ponds capture fallen foliage and colors of the sky, while a
change in vantage point reveals a murky world of dark greens and
browns. Smoothly blended brush strokesand washes let us look into the
Retreating and overflowing creeks, rivers, and wetlands feed these
momentary visions in oil or acrylic; short streaks and dabs of paint
form the ripples and speckled colors of their dynamic surfaces.
Thick and thin paint application accentuates textures of grasses and reeds contrasting with smooth wet surfaces. Tactile pleasure in the mediums draw us close to the canvas and into these painted idylls.
Color narrates the story of gallery artists’ paintings and photographs in our “In Color” exhibition. Realist and stylized views emphasize landscape extremes.
Natural phenomena expand the realist’s palette. Bright sunshine intensifies color: flowers and new green grass form broad expanses of color on canvas. Sky and land are transformed by sunset pink, orange, and bright yellow. Urban and suburban settings insert the surprising and unnatural into the natural with brightly painted walls and manufactured accents.
Optical effects from complementary colors make trees vibrate and backgrounds shimmer. Monochromatic studies accentuate atmosphere, and rainbow-colored abstractions create new realities.
This secluded ranch has a quiet 19th century feel, yet is 20 minutes by car from Highway 101 and the town of Santa Maria, and a half hour’s drive to Pacific Coast beaches. Sowle Ranch is situated in a winding valley traversed by a dirt road passing through the creek bed. The Casita is on one end of the central quadrangle, the ranch house is on the second side, a grape arbor with picnic tables on the third, and large straw-bale art studio on the fourth. The studio has a Yamaha Ariel electronic piano, and the walls are nearly completely soundproof.
There are covered porches on both east and west ends of the studio as well as a bank of north-facing windows inside, set up for painting on gloomy days.
Cottonwood and sycamore trees, fresh air, pure and delicious well water, and ready-to-pick flowers and vegetables surround the buildings. A large swimming pool forms the center of the quadrangle, solar heated May through October. An infrared sauna for your use is available on a nearby covered porch.
The garden and buildings are surrounded by utter privacy, quiet, twelve hundred acres of cattle rangeland, and hills full of wildlife. In wet years, the running creek is a great painting feature.
Marcia Burtt has been a proud participant of the Art in Embassies program that is put on by the US State Department. “Art in Embassies (AIE), a program within the U.S. Department of State, creates vital cross-cultural dialogue and mutual understanding through the visual arts and dynamic artist exchanges.” Her art has been recently been exhibited in Athens, Greece.
“Here are pictures of my setup using a Masterson Stay-Wet Palette minus the sponge.
Instead of the sponge I line the bottom with a piece of Jack Richeson gray palette paper.
I’ve attached two clear pill organizers using strong adhesive Velcro cut to size. The seal to this box keeps acrylic paints from drying out for many days. Continue reading →
You can get along with any of the three limited palettes below, or you can get all of the colors I like to use. You’ll have to work harder using fewer colors, but either the limited OR full palettes below should allow you to mix nearly any color you see. Continue reading →