A sea turtle is swimming toward me. Its shell is a beautiful mosaic of brown, black, gold, tan rounded squares distributed evenly on the hard semi-circle of armor. Flipper legs in paddle motion propel the creature through a sea of blue, green, dark turquoise. The extended head and neck look pliable but strong, and the deep, dark eyes are curious, kind, knowing...
“Animals We Love” is the current Beaufort Art Association show. The sea turtle on large scale canvas is a show stopper. The artist commands the color values and detail that capture the essence of this animal in its world. The colors are both bold and harmonious. The life-like scale should shock, but instead it is serene, quiet. I am swimming with the turtle deep beneath the sea in a place absent of sound. It makes me smile.
A little gem is a pastel entry of a white egret, wings stretched out, landing in a background of dark tropical foliage. The contrast of light and dark is dramatic. But the artist compounds the dramatic. Painstaking layers of dark green values of geometric quality are used to create the background foliage. Shadows play in the foliage. The white egret in the foreground is elegantly, stylized. Light pierces through its plumage making the bird translucent, soft. The artist’s eye reminds us not to take nature’s simple moment in time for granted.
The show is colorful, nicely displayed and well lit. The staff are friendly, welcoming and available. The relaxed, casual atmosphere make looking at art fun. It could be fun. The art is hung randomly, disconnected. This is disturbing, annoying. A local, members-only show will feature art of a wide range in quality. Many artists aren’t. Even lack-luster art, when hung in context, can provide a pleasant viewing experience. Further, the show is compromised by including art that does not have animals as a subject matter. The purpose and intention are absent in this exhibit.
Showing works in oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel and photography together affect the pace of this art experience in a positive way. Each medium demands different “seeing” from the viewer as we look for what moves us. The randomness, in respect to the media, adds interest and I appreciate the challenge.