'Scarborough Days' looks back at local artist's legacy
● By J. Chambless
'Going to the Chapel'
By John Chambless
There's a warm-spirited quality to all
of Paul Scarborough's works, and his many collectors have always
responded with dedication and a sincere love of his views of local
places. Walking into the Chadds Ford Gallery, you're struck by the
overall tone of summer light and delicate blooms in the places that
Scarborough knew best.
This will likely be the last, largest show of original works from Scarborough, who passed away in 2014. These new studio discoveries and rarely seen paintings will go fast, so collectors are advised to get to the gallery early. There will be an opening reception on Sept. 16 from 5 to 8 p.m.
In contrast to the prevailing warmth of most of these paintings, “Snow Day” is a large watercolor of gray-blue pavement and gray trees that was painted within a few hundred feet of the gallery. It has a splendid, icy chill.
A newly uncovered watercolor autumn view of the Kennett Meetinghouse has a great ruddy glow, and “Pink Dogwood and Azaleas” is a floral expanse done in glorious pinks and purples.
Scarborough was a devotee of fishing, and there's a nice stillness to the creekside fisherman in “Opening Day By the Bridge.”
“Summer at Hillhurst Farm” has friendly-looking cows, a dairy barn and outbuildings, and the painting benefits from not being prettied up. There's nothing glamorous about this barn.
“Going to the Chapel” is a large autumn view of a church birdhouse on a pole, with a directional sign pointing the way down a dirt road. The piece was done on the Frolic Weymouth property, so it's a rarely seen bit of Chester County, and immediately captures your attention.
The acrylic “Pumpkins at HG's” makes great use of the medium, with the tiny orange dots of pumpkins in a field, a forklift carrying a huge box of pumpkins to market, and a delicately rendered expanse of trees and hill, just slightly touched by autumn colors.
“Unionville Sunset” has a beautifully rendered sky, house and barn dwarfed by a mass of dried cornstalks in the foreground. It's only after a moment that you pick out the tiny birds dotted amid the stalks. It's a high point of the show.
“Crossed Paths” is a muted landscape that's packed with detail, and “Pilot Station, For The Bay and River Delaware - Lewes” shows the distinctive flagpole and shingled exterior of the elegant building in full, brilliant sunshine.
Few artists understood the appeal of this region like Scarborough, and his works are a testament to both his skill as a painter and his eye as a documentarian of places that matter.
“Scarborough Days” will be on view at the Chadds Ford Gallery (Route 1, Chadds Ford) from Sept. 16 to Oct. 2. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Call 610-388-2412 or visit www.awyethgallery.com.
To contact Staff Writer John
Chambless, email firstname.lastname@example.org.