Light in sea and sky may be the common theme of "Drawn to the Light,'' but the variations on that subject clearly are illuminated by the individual imagination.
By BRANDY STARK
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 13, 2001
Einstein proved that nothing moves faster than light, but even so, a group of artists has captured light as a subject for two shows at the Dunedin Fine Art Center.
"Drawn to the Light," curated by Genevieve Linnehan, brings together artists inspired by the ethereal qualities of light in the sky and reflected by the sea. The horizon line is a common factor in all of the works, which feature bodies of water in Florida, Bermuda, Maine and eastern Long Island.
A number of mixed media works make this show unusual. Recollection of a Murder of Crows, by Gregory Saunders, uses powdered graphite on paper. The image, which looks almost like a giant, torn black-and-white photograph, depicts swirling storm clouds arching into the sky. The merging clouds dwarf the landscape of the beach houses and trees below, casting shadows on the ground, ocean and each other.
Susan Shatter's watercolor painting Irish Moss stands out. This large work is refreshingly unframed, held to the wall by four clear push pins. The image itself is vibrant, capturing the natural energy of waves breaking over rock during a clear, sunny afternoon. The painting is so precise that from a distance it almost looks like an enlarged post card.
Carl Scorza creates a study of dynamics with Evening Offshore. The sea covers the lower quarters of the painting, the horizon marked by the flare of yellow indicating either a sunrise or a sunset. White clouds hang midway above the horizon, as dark, heavy clouds dissipate after a storm, or gather in preparation for one. It is left to the viewer to decide the order of events.
Passage, Whitewater Bay has a three-dimensional effect. This work, about 10 feet long, bows in the middle, almost as if reaching out for the viewer. Artist James Couper subtly merges the sky and sea, with only a mangrove, painted slightly off-center, separating the two.
Cynthia Knott's Victory is a visual haiku capturing a specific moment in time. In the large mixed-media painting, a hazy sky holds dissipating clouds in the silence of a postdusk rainstorm. The clouds themselves are tinted an eerie hue of brown, as the dying light of the sun is captured by the moisture.
The Dunedin Art Center also is displaying the works of Florida artist Larry Leach, who uses intense shades of color to interpret light. Sunshine/Sunset is a series of three elongated canvases depicting the effects of the sun on a field. The first shows the gentle rays of a spring sun, depicted by shades of pastels. The second forms the sunset from oranges and pinks. The third holds the dark blues and purples of late twilight. Together, they chart the downward course of the sun as if witnessed from a grassy hill.
Review: "Drawn to the Light: Seascapes by Eight Contemporary Artists," plus works by Larry Leach and Roy Nichols, at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin. Free admission. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. Call (727) 298-3322.