The gallery exhibition, July 26-September 15, is actually two-in-one. The exhibit Envisioning is comprised of digital illustrations by Katharine Gilbert of Aylett, VA. The exhibit The Inward Eye features paintings by Janet Dance. Both artists are well-established and have in-depth academic and professional experience. Interestingly, the inspiration for both is their respective, unique, and close relationships with Nature. Artists’ statements and CV’s follow. Routine gallery hours are 10am-5pm Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday. There is no admission charge to visit the galleries.
After years of traditional media such as oil painting, etching, silk screening, and sculptural work in welding, I now work digitally in which all the lessons learned traditionally are now translated digitally. It is an exciting exploration in which all past knowledge now is united. Thus, my work often begins with moving shadows in which the objects themselves become the ghost of the image. With the flow of time and space, with nature, there is not hesitation in movement; as light flows so does the image.
So the visions of natural objects in context of my view, without the preconceived normality of its place within nature, lead me into a realm of surreal visions. Out of context and placed in a space that unifies the uniqueness and individual beauty, the illusion of this progression within the work is for the essence… for with this visual growth, there are many awakenings… so I seek to follow this vision.
These images that are my environment are all familiar and each holds a mystery and a story. This keeps my work moving forward into realms that I love to explore. I am but the messenger as nature is the creator.
My paintings are based on facts; that is, the subject is something I am seeing in nature. While making a number of sketches, this visual experience becomes an improvisation or abstraction from my initial experience with the chosen subject. These paintings have gradually become intimate personal statements with special focus on the rocks, trees and stream-side passages on my property.
I enjoy examining tiny slices of landscape. After finding an interesting composition, I concentrate on achieving the softly modulated colors and textures described by the landscape. Varieties of gray found in stones and trees intrigue me as well as the push and pull of shapes and edges. Sometimes I move into the brighter colors with emphasis on the layering of different colors to enjoy the changes these layers create in both color and texture. This allows me to investigate the interaction of pure colors rather than mixing colors on the palette. It also creates a visual depth that can be intriguing.
This investigation, examination and interpretation have led to a deepening and very personal perception of these natural phenomena. It is my hope that such discoveries are present to some degree in each painting; in the composition itself as well as in the final resolution of the paint surface. Perhaps this may create a resonance in my painting that effectively depicts, simultaneously, my appreciation for the quiet moments in life and my fascination with the act of painting. It is my special wish that the viewer might find personal resonance in my work that speaks to him as well.