Though tiny, the show is mighty. The paintings separate into two groups: minimalist landscapes luminous with Color and pet portraits packed with Personality. The canvases of the landscapes are large and the pets small, physically manifesting their respective themes: the universal and the personal. Very nice.
With simple shapes and colors chosen for light, depth and contrast, the landscapes pulse with energy that lingers in a lovely afterglow. Abstract flower shapes, star-bright and fiery, pop out from a deep blue backdrop dynamic with cloud forms.
Tall verticals of browns and tans march across a horizontal canvas, a crowd of purple, lilac and green rods at their feet. Above, a sunlit scrim of leaves. And deep in the distance, shadowed and massive, a curve of mountain rises and falls.
A spreading meadow dotted with whites and yellows reaches to a horizon of rolling slate-blue ridges, while in the foreground red poppies riot. Past summer hikes rush back, the bug-free ones with freshening breezes, every breath heady with the warm scents of flowers, plants, and evergreen.
In contrast, the pet portraits are up close and personal. The brushstrokes vary— thick, thin, short, long, this way, that way—to create fluffed fur, shadowed curves, gleaming eyes, opinionated snouts and telling stances. A smug cat. A happy-to-be-here bichon. A doleful boxer. We like these people. Have you been yearning for a portrait of your own Royal Poochiness? The painter accepts commissions.
Why is this show titled “Sunday Paintings?” Did Julie Warren paint this collection over a series of Sundays? Maybe. A little mystery adds that certain something. As does a charming vintage setting. Built in 1876, the Westport Depot wears a witch hat roof and cupola, functions as an active Amtrack train station and houses the Depot Theatre. The paintings, hung on polished wood walls above old-fashioned wood benches, encircle the bijou waiting room cum gallery.
As you browse, check out the arched ticket window and the bas-relief train— locomotive to caboose— carved from multiple wood rectangles resting along the back of the wall-length bench facing the bathrooms. Visit the bathroom, where you’ll find a vase of artfully arranged local flowers on a weathered kid’s chair. Before you go, give yourself a gift. Look over the entire show one more time.
Visit the artist’s website for excellent quality images of other paintings: www.juliewarrenart.com
“Sunday Paintings” by Julie Warren
July 16 through August 16, 2015
The Depot Theatre Gallery
Westport Train Station
6705 Main Street
Westport, NY 12993
Open 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. most days.
Call for further information.
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- Fantastic Paintings by Randy Boutilier at The Depot in Westport Through July 5 (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)