Under the Sea
Acrylic on canvas
Gabby, your show is amazing. It is so nice to see all of your portraits together from your concentration. All of the portraits compliment each other and look great all together. Your use of color is phenomenal and your brushstrokes show clearly in all of your pieces. Seeing all of your pieces together really show how much you have grown as an artist and how your style has changed over time. The scale of your paintings fit well in the gallery and the way you have arranged them fits the space well. The natural light worked well with all of your pieces and all of your pieces complimented each other nicely. You should be so proud of the work you have done!!
04/26/15, 11:13 pm
The people at my table here in the Gilbert Gallery (my daughters) say that they like these paintings especially for the color, the color of the skin, the reds and yellows. I would agree, and would add that I love too the olives and ochres, the neutral greens and purples, the nameless lovely colors, and especially the colors in the darks, the umbers, alizarins, quinacridones, and paynes. And the colors create form! Color models the dimensions. Cools recede and warms deftly come forth in planes that are chiseled and molded about and around these giant heads, massive arms, these deified individuals who are yet so human and deep. As I look around the room, I am amazed at the consistency of the work, how strong, solid, and well-composed each piece is. The drawing of the nude shows a skillful use of charcoal, a nice sense of shading, as well as the proportions and gesture of the figure. The little beach scene captures the playful lives of the children and the atmosphere of an afternoon at the beach. The self-portrait is a good likeness of yourself from a year and a half ago, and a commanding vision of yourself as you then were emerging into who you are now. The portrait of Eartha is one of your best portraits and the still life adjacent to it shows how well you can work with any subject. The texture of the glass, the palpable presence of the lemons, are breathtaking! The portrait of Veronica is my favorite in this context as it works especially well on the blue-gray wall. The portrait of Lydia and the nude study of the male male figure evidence your mastery of oil paint, you're feeling for the luscious, sumptuous brushstrokes that define the forms. The portrait of Susan is of course a delight in the way you captured her expression. Along the big wall, the portrait of Kayden is one of your finest in the early part of the Concentration series. The way you look up at the head with its sultry expression and the way he looks down at the viewer are compelling. This is the first portrait where you were able to give the sense of the air moving around the whole sculptural neck and head. The portrait of Camela is probably the strongest portrait in the show. She becomes an equilateral triangle. The solidity of her arms and the power of the color statement are astounding. The most recent portrait of Carol and Amy is charming and shows your increasing ambition. Not only portraiture but spaces set up in relation to the figure become the drama. Then it's good to see the portrait of Danielle, a telling depiction of her persona in the delicate lift of her head, as if seeing for some far distance, and the quizzical and gently commanding look. Altogether this is a most impressive achievement, a body of work that resonates in evoking a sense of time as well as a psychology of human essence. On a formal note, you often make an artful play at scale and contrast as in the hanging earring in the Eartha portrait and the Susan one. The jewel is painted with a few deft blobs of paint. This fine moment gives a monumental quality to the portrait as if seen on a grand movie screen. The role of preliminary drawing is of course integral to the portraits. The quality of the impasto paint, the natural sense of color harmonics are gifted and realized. On the one hand, the work calls to, of course, Lucien Freud, an old mentor whose work you have known for many years, and akin to Freud might be Paul Georges, Franz Hals, Manet, and Chuck Close. On the other hand are Leon Kossoff, Francis Bacon, David Park, Elmer Bishoff, and Jenny Seville. Katy Schneider was perhaps suggesting an affinity for you toward the latter group, and yet your love of detail and refinement may draw you more toward the former group. And alas, the direction is yours, the hybrid of painterliness and specificity is your own. What drives these portraits, I believe, is your enormous generosity of spirit. With that comes your willingness to take on commissions but it is also clearly evident and eminent in your daily helpfulness in the studio and your gift for teaching other artists. Your compassion for people and your sensual, intelligent, and disciplined handling of color in the service of drawing combine to make a remarkable oeuvre. One of my great teachers, Bernard Chaet, used to say that drawing is not a technique, it's an attitude. You have that wonderfully. And you have the strength, talent, and sensitivy to continue to achieve great works.
04/14/15, 07:33 pm
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