“Beautiful was the world, colorful was the world, bizarre and enigmatic was the world!”
Thus writes Hermann Hesse in his novel “Siddhartha,” and such is the spirit and ideal of the “ColorLove” exhibition, an allmedia show at Falls Church Art Gallery which, according to the gallery’s press release, “invites viewers to feast on brilliant, bold, and beautiful color.”
These various watercolor, oil, acrylic, digital, and glass works show us the multicolored world around us vibrantly, from the leaves of autumn in Noreen Brunini’s watercolor “Leaf Pile #1” and Stephanie Lamore’s digital photo on acrylic “Fall Cover” to colorful barns in Donna Grone’s oil painting “Dairy.” This last was “inspired by a dairy farm [the artist] visited in Wisconsin about 20 years ago. The family farm is becoming a thing of the past,” the artist notes wistfully.
Family and communal life are saluted as well in Alejandra Pineiro’s oil painting“Andres’ Houses,” depicting “the colorful houses of the Caribbean with their chaotic ensemble and narrow paths.” The exhibition card quotes Paul Cézanne: “We live in a rainbow of chaos.”
In Michele Sheedy’s acrylic “Picasso in Color,” a famous artist, is not merely quoted but also depicted— with potions of his face in red, yellow, blue, green, and pinkish beige.
An especially effective (and colorful!) canvas we noted was Roxanne Kaylor’s work in acrylic “Jalopy in the Woods.” Here the artist depicts an orange-toned abandoned vehicle in the middle of nature. The subject here is painted in defined shapes while the background is instead more abstract with long dark l ines representing trees and branches in the distance. Shattered glass pieces which can be seen at the bottom right side of the canvas are painted in the same color palette as nature, a striking choice. The shards of glass from the car’s windshield show that nature has successfully claimed the object. A pile of leaves on the left almost branching towards the car covers a headlight and further testifies to the unrelenting power of nature over human machinery and ingenuity.
In Sheila Gotti’s digital painting “The Garden,” a woman is petting a tiger beside her while peacefully gazing directly toward the viewers. This may be a reassembling of the Adam and Eve narrative in the Garden of Eden, for there is a snake appearing out of a tree at the upper right side of the painting. Both wild animals seem to be tame and to eschew wild, animalistic behavior, causing us to think how life would have been if human beings had not been “sent … forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground” in worldly misery (Genesis 3: 23). We would then have been in the garden of paradise with all living things living in harmony. Then perhaps what colors we would see!
Various artistic styles are represented in the ColorLove exhibit, such as Teresa Brunson’s tranquil pastel of irises called “Purple Reflections.” Also calm and arresting is an image of “Songbirds of the Andes” (watercolor by Cecelia Capestany). A much splashier watercolor may be found in “Joy!” Artist Noreen Brunini informs us: “This is a backlit peony from my garden — the challenge was to ‘get the glow’ of the sunrise using lighter colors in watercolor.”
Abstract painting enters the fray via the mixed media work “Purple Stairs Carry You Far” by Beth Cartland, who won the Juror’s Choice Award for her efforts. Rendered more in an Impressionistic style is Suzanne McIntire’s photography of “Car Wash Full Service,” which splashes blue water drops at the viewer as a car goes through a mechanical car wash treatment. Patterns prevail invacrylic Deco-like designs in Eric May’s “Gem,” in glass in Robert Wiener’s “Summer Salsa,” and in block print and collage of repeating colorful fish images in Elisabeth Rhyne’s “Fishy Color School.”
All these and many more artworks celebrating color in this drab period of winter appear through February 26 at Falls Church Art Gallery. For further information on the ColorLove exhibit, please visit www.FallsChurchArts.org