New paintings in oil on canvas by Kate Knapp will be on exhibit at Jessie Edwards Studio from July 18th to August 10th 2023. Her quintessential rendering of Block Island in all its bucolic and vibrant beauty are favorites among both regular visitors and new. Her expressive and painterly style is most captivating. One of the beautiful aspects of Block Island is the sense of time and this place remaining the same throughout the years. Knapp captures this essence and feeling in her broad strokes and stunning views. Whether the view is from a porch, where we feel we are sitting or standing looking out through our own eyes, or of landscapes which fade off towards the sea, it is hard to feel anything but warmth and delight with a sense of remembering a time when we saw that same scene, just so, on our own visit to the island.
Knapp’s recent works depict 15 different views and scenes of Block Island. Her style captures the essence of what she sees and wants to portray. Her connection with the island is apparent and feels like we are looking at her own love letters, so to speak, to the island. They are filled with depth and love and an understanding of this place.
The viewer senses they are walking into, looking at, a moment in time, captured and portrayed by Knapp’s own moment in time while she is painting. On the island she paints en plein air so her canvas is the composite of the scene she has been working on for however long it takes her to complete that piece. The sky and light may change over the time she is painting and she is able to take what she likes and leave out what doesn’t work for her. She paints the best part of what she is experiencing.
Her recent works for this exhibition range in size from the smallest at 12 x 24” to the largest at 30 x 40”. She captures the light, weather, and mood of late spring this year on BI as it was a moody time with rain, clouds, wind, and foggy and smoke-tinged skies. These 15 pieces reflect the gamut of what it is to be on Block Island in the springtime.
In “Hazy Day Porch” (24 x 30” oil on canvas) we are gifted with a quiet reprieve of warmer weather before the summer begins. We see a few sailboats in the harbor and the pastel colors as the sun starts to set towards the west, that rosy tinge brought about by the fires to the north. There is an expectant feel to this view as soon many more boats will be in that space.
You can feel the fresh breeze blowing, drying the laundry on the line in “Late Afternoon Porch” (30 x 40” oil on canvas), Knapp’s largest work in this exhibition. There is nothing like the smell of freshly line dried laundry on BI and this painting invites us into that memory of our own laundry blowing in a fresh Island breeze, the clothes and towels that we take in after a day at the beach.
Fog is a familiar BI experience, especially in the springtime. In “Incoming Fog” (20 x 20” oil on canvas) the combination of the vibrancy of the foreground against the developing muted tones in the background reminds us of the importance of the present moment as our view can shift quickly especially in this space and place as the fog rolls in.
The gallery is open Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesday’s) 10am – 5pm and by appointment at other times.