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Chester County Press

Putting an artistic spin on winter scenery

01/07/2019 09:31AM ● By J. Chambless

A farm view by Mary Gordon.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

Like it or not, we are heading into the snowy days of winter. However, the Square Pear Gallery in Kennett Square is putting the best spin on the season with a new exhibit, “Snowy Days,” continuing through the end of January. There, you'll find winter at its prettiest.

In the front room, there's an impressive selection of large paintings by Barbara Grant, whose nighttime snowscapes have a richly textured surface and a storybook air about them, particularly the two-lane road draped between two clusters of homes in “Night Light,” and the huge moon over pillowy hills in “Blue Moon.” The orange horizon in “Dawn Sky” is a nice addition, with a warm tone that contrasts nicely with the blue-black palette.

There's one wall of abstract color fields by Portia Mortensen that evoke the mood of a frosty winter day. The four large paintings by Doug Elliott brilliantly depict the bright blue-white of snow on a sunny day, especially the sun-dappled tree and out-of-season bicycle in “Pin Oak in Ice.”

On a smaller scale, Lydia Kohutiak's views of winter streams are also strong, especially the yellow-orange tree that stands out against the snow in “Winter Brook.”

Mary Gordon's works have a crisp, clean light, whether she's working large in her wide view of a field of cattle, or keeping a constrained size and maximizing every inch in “Waimbler Farm in Winter” and “Waimbler Farm, LaVerne, Iowa,” the latter a near-perfect depiction of a white farm outbuilding draped with the shadow of an unseen tree. It's a white-on-white tour de force.

Madeleine Kelly's large paintings are powerful, and both “Fresh Prints” (footprints in the snow through a slope of brown vegetation) and “Brandywine Winter” (a dramatic sweep of stream bank and dark water) are very fine.

There are three winter scenes by Kathryn Noska that fit nicely into the winter theme and maintain the artist's dazzling level of detail, not only in the animals in the foreground, but in the acres of space in the fantasy landscapes behind them.

Behind the front counter is a huge, striking abstract by Dave Eldreth that suggests acres of snowy landscape but allows your imagination to roam. And don't miss the charming wooden snowman sculpture by Jack Hanson that stands as a greeter in the gallery's front window.

The gallery regulars are represented as well, offering ceramics and paintings and prints that you will love browsing through. In short, it's a great stop for an hour of art appreciation and discovery, whatever the weather outside happens to be.

“Snowy Days” continues through Jan. 31 at Square Pear Fine Art Gallery (200 E. State St., Kennett Square). Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 484-883-5429 or visit www.squarepeargallery.com.

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


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