Wednesday, April 18, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition, Waitsfield


First Annual Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition Opens to Rave Reviews

What is the result of seven Vermont Watercolor Artists coming together in a relatively new gallery space? It’s the First Annual Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition at the Festival Gallery in Waitsfield. The Valley Arts Foundation, operator of the gallery, anticipates that it will become a popular yearly watercolor exhibit.

The seven artists included in this year’s show each bring an individual approach to watercolor painting, giving a broad representation of the varied capabilities of the medium. Each of the 21 paintings, skillfully executed, belie the difficulties of the art form.

Upon entering the gallery, the viewer is immediately seized by one of three stunning floral paintings by Robert O’Brien of Perkinsville. The luminosity of his colors in “Smiling Gold” brings a brilliance and delicacy to floral painting that is only possible with watercolor.

Peter Huntoon of Middletown Springs classifies himself as an “Expressionist Representationalist” - a definition quite evident in his use of broad brush strokes and brilliant colors to interpret recognizable subjects. His painting of “Sugarbush”, with crisp white ski trails and cobalt blue mountains, evokes a cold, clear winter day one would experience approaching the Resort area.

Barbara Pafume’s (Cambridge) skillful interpretation of a sun-dappled autumn lane leaves one saying “I’ve been there!”, while James Gardner’s (Vershire) “Tunbridge Icon” pictures the quintessential white church found in nearly every Vermont village. Either of these paintings would be perfect in a Vermont tourism brochure or on a proud collector’s living room wall.

Grafton artist Peter Jeziorski’s painting “My Spot” uses soft brush strokes and subtle color in his quiet interpretation of a fly fisherman casting his line on a foggy Vermont morning. His technique in painting the gently flowing stream is masterful, while Robert Sydorowich of Andover uses bold brush work and vibrant contrasting colors reminiscent of the late Impressionist movement. Two different approaches, one response - “Wonderful!”

Gary Eckhart of Warren, a well respected Valley watercolorist, once again proves his expertise in the depiction of many different textural qualities. His image of a rusty latch on a rickety old barn door is a masterful interpretation of textures. The contrast of light and shadow gives a depth to the surface of the paper, giving one the urge to reach up and flick off the “peeling paint”.

Next year’s show is already scheduled for June 22 to July 29 in a much larger venue. If it matches the quality and diversity of this year’s exhibition, it is not to be missed.

The current Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition runs through May 4 at the Festival Gallery, 2 Village Square shopping center in Waitsfield. Contact the Valley Arts Foundation Director, Karen Nevin at 802-496-6682 or for more information.