Art for a Time of Retreat and Reflection

New work in Jessie Edwards Studio this spring of 2020 invites us into moments and places of contemplation and quiet. Ranging from monotypes to oils to ink and watercolor drawings, they depict the many aspects of solitude.

Cynthia Guild’s oil-on-canvas “Tandem” is a study in blues and grey of two freighters traveling together on a sea without any defining features — no land in sight —save for the lights from each vessel. The freighter in the left foreground has distinct structural elements seen in shades of rust, dark blue, and white, while the freighter farther away in the background on the right is a blurry reflection of its companion on the left. In spite of the sense of being in an endless expanse of blue, the effect is one of serenity as the boats make their way through the water, alone together.

“Block Island Sound ,” Whitney Knapp Bowditch’s oil-on-panel, is a study in many shades of blue from the deep cobalt of the waves in the foreground to the palest of blues on the horizon. Silvery white light breaks through a cloud cover and light up the waves below. There is a sense of a storm having passed with the darker stratocumulus clouds breaking apart and the sea calming into gentle, rhythmic waves.

Stephan Haley’s monotype drawing “Church at Kingdom Road” is a scene of an empty country road in Maine. The narrow road runs alongside the fresh green fields dotted with white houses and leads us to a simple white clapboard church with its bell tower reaching into a warm yellow sky streaked with clouds. In his monoprint drawings, Haley first creates the monoprint (a single image printed from a painting on a glass, metal, or stone surface in ink or oil paint) and then draws in certain details to enhance the image’s definition.

In “Mitchell Farm and Fields,” Jessie Edwards combines sepia ink and watercolor to take us down Corn Neck Road. With its bright yellow stripe, the narrow road winds along the left while broad fields in the pale greens and tans of early spring stretch away to the right. Bare stone walls in shades of grey, white, russet, and black define the fields along the road. In the distance, the roof of the barn on Mitchell Farm rises into a blue sky of puffy, scudding clouds.

In Kate Knapp’s oil-on-canvas “Chair at St. Croix Museum,” the warm tropical sun streaming through open windows lights up the polished wood and graceful turnings of a chair in the museum. The chair sits on simple wide-plank floorboards and is turned inward toward the viewer. Even though the chair is the subject of our interest, our eyes are drawn to the view of a swaying palm tree and the calm sea beyond.

“On Vacation,” Heidi Palmer’s oil-on-canvas, also depicts a chair by an open window. Sunlight falls on the simple curved lines of a rattan chair, its turquoise cushions, and an open book and newspapers momentarily left on the floor by the chair. With their pristine white moldings, large windows frame a view of the water, its blue and turquoise surf foaming gently on the beach.

The Gallery opens its 2020 summer season on June 27 with “20×20,” a show featuring works by gallery artists. All works will be 20”x20” in a variety of media — oils, watercolors, drawings, and monoprints. This will most likely be a virtual opening and there will be more details about this as we get closer to the date. The other openings for the summer exhibits are on July 11th for Whitney Knapp Bowditch, August 1 for Kate Knapp, and August 15 for a two-person show featuring new monoprints by Heidi Palmer and monotype drawings by Stephan Haley. These will be either actual or virtual openings pending conditions on the island as the summer progresses.