Chester County places depicted in glowing light
● By J. Chambless
'Familiar' by Jacalyn Beam.
There’s an overall sunny tone of green hillsides and time-worn stone buildings in Jacalyn Beam’s solo show at the Station Gallery in Greenville this month.
Her rich palette and sensitive depictions of Chester County places are a winning combination that will reward lingering to appreciate the details. Whether it’s depicting the leaden sky and falling snow in “Meeting House,” the sky-blue reflection in a circular pond in “Quiet Afternoon,” or the sun-warmed barn and muddy field in “Familiar,” Beam captures the essence of a scene and conveys it with just the right amount of detail, leaving some elements sketchy enough to make us participants in the work.
She paints these on-site, so her well-traveled easel has visited iconic places and out-of-the-way farms that she has trekked to reach, as implied in the title of “Park and Walk.” The barns in her works are working, messy places, brimming with character and not cleaned up and posing for their portraits.
There’s a lovely, slanting sunlight in “Stand Tall,” a view of a grassy slope and russet silo; a distinct winter chill in “Clenny Run”; and a wide-open expanse in “Turkey Farm” that put you right there next to Beam, no matter what the weather. Other highlights include the glassy stream surface in “Still,” a view of the Brandywine in Greenville. Then there’s the electric-blue gate and shadowy cows in “Come Over,” and the delicate burst of pink blossoms in “Welcome Spring.”
The show’s success has much to do with Beam’s way of seeing, and this show gives you the privilege of appreciating places you would otherwise never see. Stop by the gallery before March 30 and you are sure to find some favorites of your own.
Jacalyn Beam’s “A Way of Seeing: Plein Air Paintings of the Brandywine Valley” continues through March 30 at the Station Gallery (3922 Kennett Pike, Greenville, Del.). Call 302-654-8638 or visit www.stationgallery.net.
To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email firstname.lastname@example.org.