Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Looking at the land at the Arts Alliance

04/18/2016 11:43AM ● By J. Chambless

'Lone Pine, Winter' by Michael Gaudreau.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

It's an ideal season for a landscape show, and the four artists featured at the Oxford Arts Alliance make the most of the theme. The exhibit, “Plein Air-ism: A Responsive Echo,” opened on April 15 and continues through May 24.

Ellen Corddry's “Cherry Run, Ricketts Glen, Pa.” is a very fine watercolor and crayon work that has a semi-abstract quality that comes from the overlapping textures of ferns and leaves on the stream banks, as well as the swirling patterns in the shallow stream. Corddry's hand-colored woodcuts are also interesting, with bold black lines and delicate tinting that gives them a distinctive look.

John Sauers has a nice, chilly winter scene, “Snow, Sleet and Ice,” in which a crow in the foreground regards a tree that's weighted down with ice. The crow turns up in several other pieces by Sauers, such as the sunny landscape “Field With Hay Bales, Late Summer.”

Mary Swann's oil landscapes have a sketchy texture and light tone that's shown nicely in “Ober Farm,” in which the artist's brush strokes are evident in the view of farm field and a mass of billowing clouds.

But it's Michael Gaudreau who works the most magic in his luminous pastels and vividly rendered oils. “Lone Pine, Winter” gets everything right – reflective water, dried scrub trees and a thicket of evergreens in a cold, slanting light. “Drydock, The Skipjack Martha Lewis” captures the blue foreground shadow on a white boat hull, as well as the expanse of backlit clouds above. His “First Snow on Mt. Giant,” the woodland scene “Raking Showers” and “Moving Cloud” are virtuoso efforts in pastel. Each one has shadows you can practically feel, and a marvelous sense of depth and space.

“Plein Air-ism: A Responsive Echo” continues through May 24 at the Oxford Arts Alliance (38 S. Third St., Oxford). The gallery will also be part of the Chester County Studio Tour on May 21 and 22. The gallery is open, free of charge, on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit for more information.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email [email protected].