Whitney Knapp Bowditch ~ Island Landscapes


“Island Landscapes,” Whitney Knapp Bowditch’s recent oils, will be on exhibit at the Jessie Edwards Studio on the second floor of the Post Office building from July 9 to July 21. A virtual reception will be released on July 10.

Working in oils in a variety of surfaces, such as paper, canvas and wood panel, Bowditch is intent on capturing the “atmospherics” in the relationship between land, sea, and sky. She uses color and texture to create these moods.  For example, the tranquility of “Fresh Pond Dinghy” is conveyed in the use of many greens in the brush, foliage, and lily pads. Against these tones, light sets off the turquoise and white of the dinghy bobbing at the edge of the pond. Bowditch uses a palette knife to create texture in the foreground while brush strokes create a soft texture in the background.


A more intense atmosphere pervades a series of oils on small (5×7) cradled wood panels. With her palette knife, Bowditch swipes deep, bold colors across the panel. “Block Island Evening,” “Sunset Cooneymus,” and “Nightfall” have crimson, pink, orange, and yellow colors in the sky above the dark green, blue, and black of the water. 

Unsurprisingly, beaches in their ever-changing aspects are a major subject in this show. In “Bluffs at Dawn,” a pale, hazy light falls on the crags, the water and the strip of beach below. “Coast Guard Beach” takes us along the sun lit path behind the Coast Guard Station to the beach  across from Beane Point. The beach is devoid of the usual fisherman, and no boats are entering or leaving the Salt Pond through the narrow cut.  “Scotch Beach Tracks” is a view of the wide entrance to Scotch Beach looking east along the empty sweep of Crescent Beach. Deep tire grooves from fishermen’s vehicles that are allowed on the beach at certain hours dominate the foreground.

“Mansion Beach” is the only piece with figures in it in a scene of a sunny day with beach-goers dipping their toes into the surf.  With the rough edges and angles in the foreground,“Vail Boulders” emphasizes the rocky nature of the beaches under the bluffs on the south side of the island.  In contrast, “Black Rock Beach” takes a long view of the beach (similar to the perspective of “Bluffs at Dawn”) with a cluster of boulders at Black Rock in the distance.

During the week, gallery hours are Thursday through Monday 10-5:30. Private appointments can be made by calling the gallery at 401-466-5314 or call/text (401)301-5591.