Randy Boutilier’s paintings really are fantastic, in both nuances of the word. His subjects travel to us from the mysterious space of fantasy, dreams and imagination.
His style, uncontaminated by formal art training, elicits an immediate gut response. You linger, looking deeper, and experience another level of delight. Randy said, “Most people will look briefly. But if you stand there for a while, I know the painting’s got you.”
Twenty-seven paintings are hung on the old-fashioned wooden walls of the gallery, an active Amtrak rail station and theater. He was born in Burlington and raised in Vermont. As an adult he’s lived and worked as a restorer of stone buildings in Mexico, the American southwest and southeast. These experiences are reflected in the work.
Walking in, you encounter “Poppies,” a delicate floral with an even more delicate butterfly. There’s “Heat Wave,” a large abstract, sweaty-hot with bright yellow, orange and red. Squiggly heat lines radiate throughout. Building rectangles lean into each other, panting.
There’s a pelican, dragging her bill through the water, the reflection of the drag an eye-bending abstraction. “Bluebirds,” the painting used for the show’s promotion, features six bluebirds, each perched on a vertical stick, each looking in a different direction, a couple at each other, the background mottled with cloud forms. What’s going on there? You can only guess. The blue of the birds glows against the infinite cloudy sky.
Proceeding around the room, the paintings become more surreal, sort-of-but-not like Frida Kahlo’s work. The painter acknowledges her influence in a painting titled: “Homage to Frida Kahlo.”
His disregard for the formal rules of perspective adds interest without confusion. Here’s a water fountain drawn realistically, surrounded by concentric embellished circles, with buildings and foliage entwined in the background. The warm earth tones, the embellishments suggest tiles and cobbles. It’s clear this is the fountain of a Mexican town center. Further study reveals fish, animals, household items and other not-logical objects in the spaces between the buildings and trees. The effect is simultaneously child-like and sophisticated, uncanny and thought provoking. Wonder full.
“My father made me promise I’d never take a formal art class,” smiled Randy.
What You Need to Know to Go:
Paintings by Randy Boutilier
6/19/15 – 7/5/15
6705 Main Street
Westport, NY 12993
- Depot Theatre Gallery: Randy Boutilier Opening Reception (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Artist Randy Boutilier (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Last Chance to Catch “Rejuvenation” at Adirondack Art Association in Essex (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Daily Doodle: Kevin Raines Sketches Stuart Brody’s Cabin (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Lake Champlain from Beggs Park by Edwin Douglas (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)