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Liz Barber’s new body of work is vibrant, energetic and bursting with texture, color and shape. Inspired by water, light and their reflective qualities her "window panes of light" combine a graphic element with something very organic. Using a soft palette of colors with vigorous brushstrokes, she creates paintings that convey nature as constantly changing, shifting and moving. Atmospheric landscapes blend with drawn images from memory. Her canvases tell a short story by freezing a moment in time and then blending it with an abstracted ground. The common thread that winds itself through it all is her ability to capture a light source through its interaction with color. The result in daring and unusual combinations of color, forceful texture and the gentle luminosity enhanced pictures of the gorgeous effects of nature. In her own words: “There is always abstraction in my paintings no matter what the subject matter is. Nature provides organic, compelling shapes. Usually drawing is the starting point consisting of ambiguous elements that add depth to the painting. Moments from the past are as fragile and changing as nature itself. In my life, the way I see a leaf falling can trigger a past memory. This is my emotional connection with nature. My mother loved to garden and I was surrounded by flowers and plants my whole childhood. I was happiest outside in the sunlight and I paint from the perspective of capturing a memory of the way light moves. The subject matter of nature provides a decadent ballet of movement and change. This process makes visible my search through my memories. This is how I connect with the viewer.”
Duy Huynh’s poetic and contemplative acrylic paintings symbolically reflect geographical and cultural displacement. Drawing inspiration from a variety of storytellers in formats that range from music and movies to ancient folklore and comic book adventures, Duy creates his own narratives of the human condition with ethereal characters maintaining a serene, precarious balance, often in a surreal or dreamlike setting. With his figures, Duy explores motion along with emotion in order to portray not just the beauty of the human form, but also the triumph of the human spirit. Images that recur, such as boats, trains, suitcases, and anything with the ability of flight relate to travel, whether physical or spiritual. His work creates a mood for the viewer to explore. While much of Duy’s work is deeply personal, his clever and often times humorous use of symbolism and wordplay invites the viewer to create their own storyline.
Tracey Lane's richly, textured paintings in acrylic are a celebration of the mystery of nature, and the promise and complexity of life that exists in nature. "I'm mostly inspired by the quiet drama of nature – trees bending toward the light, silent reflections, sunlight breaking through clouds," says Lane. "More recently, I've begun to explore the 'flesh and blood' wildness of nature through birds" and other wildlife, which, says the artist, are ubiquitous reminders of our important and often shunned responsibilities as stewards of the earth. Lane approaches her mixed media works on panel with energy and brisk movement. Paint is sometimes left dripping on the panel to dry, and other times applied with palette knives in a rich impasto. "My paintings are about the experience of light and shadow, color and texture – the play between the seen and the unseen, and memory and imagination," says Lane. A resident of Atlanta, Lane earned her bachelors and masters degrees in art history from Emory University in Atlanta. She began painting a series of studies of trees following time spent in the North Carolina mountains near Asheville, though Lane says these works are not intended as literal interpretations of the landscape but rather symbols of life itself. "Even though I'm painting trees they're all self-portraits in a way," says Lane, who quotes the late German romantic painter Casper David Friedrich, who said: "The pure, frank sentiments we hold in our hearts are the only truthful sources of art."
Based on the ephemera of modern urban life, my paintings explore the things we look at each day without seeing. Though everything is game imagery-wise, I am drawn to advertising images and glyphs, the visual shorthand of contemporary culture. As a painter, I have as an objective to explore the subtexts and uncover the possibilities of seemingly innocuous marketing imagery. The chief ambition of art, I believe, is to change the way we look at the world around us. Bright colored blocks compose my acrylic paintings. I enjoy the look and feel of loose, graffiti-like marks, text, and “noise” against these vividly hued planes. Usually I paint with layers, with each new layer showing a bit of the one beneath, either by transparency, an unpainted “window” area, or by a scraping away of recent layers. Often this process yields unexpected colors and forms. Similarly, I use corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap or other common materials to apply paint in tightly striped registers, creating texture, space, and still more unintended forms. Played against this pictorial depth are images that are hard edged and, at times, almost aggressively flat. A vibrant tension is produced by the interplay between these forthright, graphic forms and the painterly, almost old world concern for surface qualities