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Chester County Press

Springtime, just when you need it most

04/09/2018 11:26AM ● By J. Chambless

Several small paintings by Monique Sarkessian at Mala Galleria.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

If you're fed up with waiting for spring to really arrive – and at this point, who isn't? – Mala Galleria in Kennett Square has the solution. “Petals and Leaves,” which opened last weekend, is all about the colors of spring and summer, and nature joyfully putting on a show.

Frank DePietro fills one gallery with large, bold oils of lotus plants captured against sky-blue or plain white backgrounds. The exception is “Lotus Number Five,” which masterfully depicts the lotus stems rising out of the surface of still water, giving the painting a splendid depth and texture. The glow of sunlight through massive leaves is particularly well done in “Lotus Number Three,” but any of these paintings are equally skillful depictions of the rich range of greens and tans of these interesting plants.

In the front gallery, Monique Sarkessian's oil and mixed-media paintings get a well-deserved spotlight. The vibrant orange blooms in “Orange Ranunculus Trio” immediately grab your attention, but Sarkessian lavishes just as much attention on the translucence of the glass of water in “Red Tulip, Orange Ranunculus and Guava.” Her 14 small paintings of one or two blooms in closeup are sketchy, just-right summations of each type of flower.

Kennett Square artist Susan Myers shows some lively, colorful pastels of flowers, and one field view (“Poppies in France”) that all express the delicate nature of petals and leaves.

Doris Davis-Glackin goes large with her watercolor paintings of blooms and stems, shown large and in closeup, and she excels in the fine details of “Moonlight Madness,” with the flowers showcased against a black background.

Sarah Yeoman's watercolors are splendid, soft-focus works that have a refreshing, spontaneous look. The spatters and swipes of paint in “Lilacs” and “Lisianthus” are particularly expressive.

Katy Winters is represented by a selection of charming etchings that have a timeless look. Whether depicting plants and insects or storybook-like scenes (“Buttercup,” “A Star to Guide You”), her skill with the demanding medium is evident.

Susan Kent and Royce Yoder show nature-inspired pottery vases that look great next to the buds and leaves elsewhere in the show. Madeleine Kelly has two lovely little pieces you don't want to overlook, as well.

Stepping into the gallery is a wonderful preview of nature's springtime bounty that will eventually get here. Take some time to explore and you'll swear it feels a little warmer outside.

Mala Galleria (300 E. State St., Kennett Square) hosts “Petals and Leaves” through April 30. Call 484-883-5429 or email malagalleriaksq@gmail.com for more information.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com.

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