On Friday evening, October 7, from 5:30 to 8:00, the Jonathan Frost Gallery in Rockland will host the opening reception for a show called “Views of the Natural World.” The show will feature work by Susan Beebe, Susan Bryant, Jeannette Martin, Linda Simmons-Arnold, Susie Starr Smith, and Barbara Vanderbilt. Steve Lindsay will play jazz piano. Click here to see more work from the show.
Most of Beebe’s offerings are paintings in gouache and oil. Some of them evoke the woods of Friendship Long Island, where she lived for several years and continues to spend time. A low, yellow-white sun glints through branches at the center of a six-foot-wide panoramic gouache called “Winter Solstice.”
Bryant is showing eight black-and-white landscape photographs for which she used infrared-sensitive film. The film makes things like leaves, in which life flows close to the surface, appear lighter than they customarily do. The effect makes familiar scenes less familiar, perhaps making us more aware of their beauty and inherent mystery.
Martin offers a small oil of a narrow tidal channel curling through mud flats at low tide – a familiar sight in Maine.
Simmons-Arnold brings us exuberant, loosely drawn pastels of tree-dominated landscapes, and also of flowers.
Smith is showing several very small, lyrical watercolors, mostly of foreground trees in relation to flat middle grounds and distant horizons. Smith’s work is reserved and muted in comparison with Simmons-Arnold’s, but they have in common a degree of abstraction and simplification, of clearly laying out and emphasizing fields of color. In the work of both artists, as in Beebe’s, departures from objective, dispassionate representation are not arbitrary but are aimed at promoting a heightened appreciation of what’s really there.
Barbara Vanderbilt’s pastels, too, often have a lyrical feel. The rocks that Vanderbilt – also a designer of low- and high-relief custom tiles – is fond of drawing are softened by patches of moss and algae, by the play of light and shadow, by the curving branches of trees.
The show will be up through November 19.