Kate Knapp ~ Paintings from the Island I Love


“Paintings from the Island I Love,” sixteen new oils on canvas by Kate Knapp, will be on exhibit from July 29th to August 11th at the Jessie Edwards Studio on the second floor of the Post Office Building. A virtual reception can be seen on July 30th.

Knapp is interested in the way “the human element responds to the landscape,” she said recently, meaning the way that balance is achieved between buildings and other human creations and the natural landscape.  Painted in the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021, these paintings are Knapp’s meditations on the beauty of the island in all its various aspects. We are particularly aware of island landscapes seen from many angles.  It is the angle of the light that helps to create the balance between the landscape and the structure. 

For example, the Narragansett Inn dominates the landscape in “Narragansett Inn in Evening Light” in this view of the back of the Narragansett, the light falling on the shingles and a garden hose at the unadorned rear of the building. Balancing the structure is a view of the inner ponds of the Great Salt Pond across the way.

In “Andrews’ Porch, Afternoon” we look across the porch in the warm afternoon light at a scene that takes in roof lines of nearby buildings, a distant pond, and the ocean and sky. An incoming ferry is framed between the posts on the porch.  In “East Side Porch, Morning,” the early light falls on the weathered shingles of the house and the details of the porch’s molding. Again, the porch’s posts frame the fields, sea, sky, and windmill beyond. 

In “West Side Barns Sunset”, the light captures the angles of two outbuildings set in a field with the ocean beyond. Two different aspects of the sunset are seen in “Sunset View Westside” and “Sunset with Three Chairs.” The first is a serene evening scene with the sun still above the horizon casting soft pink, yellow, and lavender tones in the sky and on the water. The second view is a vivid blaze of the yellow, orange, purple, and red streaks as the sun sinks halfway down into the deep blue water and sends shadows across the tree, chairs, and lawn in the foreground.

There are three still-lifes of flowers in the show that capture the flowers in their different seasons of bloom. “Spring Flowers” is a pitcher of white blossoms with spiky leaves (possibly cow parsnips) set in a corner with windows looking out to the fields and the sea.  “Island Bouquet” is a cluster of mid-summer flowers — hydrangeas, tiger lilies, snapdragons — set in a brown vase on a white cloth.  In “Zinnias and House on Porch,” the vivid orange and purple blooms in a clear glass jar on a wooden tray are set off against the white woodwork of the porch with the ocean in the distance.

Not a still-life, “Sunflowers in a Garden with Sailboat” shows a garden in the fall at the end of the growing season. The sunflowers in the foreground droop, past their prime time of bloom. Two drooping stems frame a sailboat in the waters beyond the garden. Knapp has found another angle of vision as the seasons turn.

During the week, the gallery hours are Thursday through Monday 10-5:30. and by appointment Tuesday and Wednesday. Private appointments can be made by calling the gallery at 401-466-5314, calling or texting (401)301-5591 or emailing info@jessieedwardsgallery.com.