"Painted Drawing #6" by Joan McGuire
38" x 48"
Acrylic on canvas
(photo courtesy of the artist)
As promised, here are a couple of photos of Joan McGuire's show, "Painted Drawings," at Gallery 114 in the Pearl District of Portland. Her paintings, abstractions of fir cones on branches, were the main event (while my six mixed media works were tucked away in a small room in the center of the gallery). You can get a feel for the strength of Joan's paintings in these photos, but it's nothing like standing in front of them. They're very active paintings with rich hues, wonderful line quality, and multiple layers of generously applied paint. The oranges, for example, in "Painted Drawing #1" below, virtually radiate heat, while the varied deep, dimensional hues in several of her paintings recede rather mysteriously, beckoning the viewer to take a closer look. In addition to her paintings on canvas, Joan showed smaller diptychs on wood panels that featured abstract close-ups of the cones themselves, juxtaposed in some cases with silhouettes of the branches. (A couple of them appear around the corner in the above photo.)
"Painted Drawings #3, #1, and #4" by Joan McGuire
60" x 48"
Acrylic on Canvas
It was only after I had seen Joan’s show twice that I read her very interesting statement about the paintings, which follows:
"Using two branches of dried fir cones plus a number of ink drawings as source material, I have repeatedly drawn the forms in an attempt to grasp their complexity. Rather than culminating in homogeneity, the repetitive practice led to variations and abstraction, and became a fertile launching of a series of paradoxical pairings. And ultimately, it is the endlessly fascinating qualities of paint that are explored and relished. Applied with primitive tools like brushes, bits of cardboard and fingers; at turns thick with impasto or thin and drippy, paint remains the focus of the show."
To see more of Joan's portfolio of paintings, graphic design and illustration, visit her website. Her show, along with my "Remnants" show, will be at Gallery 114 through June 26. (Gallery info here.)