Loosen Up

May 1, 2024


Gallery One is pleased to announce the May show,Loosen Up,” open to the public May 1, through May 28, 2024.

In our increasingly complex, and stressful world we are constantly being encouraged, for our health, to “loosen up”.

This month the artists of Gallery One are showing us what that looks like. To Loosen Upmeans to become more relaxed, less tense, and for artists this approach as a technique allows for a painting that is more expressive, focusing on feeling rather than detail. Sometimes this freewheeling approach is easier said than done though, and artists had to find ways to silence their inner perfectionist.

Artist Eileen Olson’s acrylic painting,Yellow House on the Hill” illustrates the beautiful vibrancy of a palette let loose! Eileen’s tips to stay loose: “Use big brushes with big ideas and don’t go back into the painting. Thats my loosen up motto!” “And don’t forget to breathe, Eileen!!” For artist Marybeth Paterson in “Spring Bouquet,” in oil, she challenged herself with painting a still life with a palette knife. I made a quick sketch with my brush and let the opening blossoms direct my strokes and marks with the rich, vibrancy this color palette presented.

Laura Hickman’s painting, “Fiume Greve,in oil pastel, presented its own challenge resulting in an accidental freeing of her technique. My painting is an oil pastel on textured black BFK paper.  The oil pastels were not able to overcome the texture as well as soft pastels, leaving no possibility of detail and a rather loose composition of more abstract shapes of brighter color on the black surface.Artist Cindy Beyer repeats the mantra, “Stay Loose,” while creating her loose pastel paintings. For her pastel painting, “Popping to Light ,” she shares, I started with a gamsol wash as an underpainting and had fun with color shapers to carve out the stems and a few flower shapes.  Then I finished it off with quick strokes with my pastel sticks. The brightly colored poppies seem to be twisting and turning toward the light.  In “Spring Bouquet” Marybeth Paterson challenged herself to loosely paint this vibrant colored pallet with direct quick strokes.

A loose approach to painting can also result ironically in a more realistic depiction of the atmosphere of a scene. In “Olive Orchard in Tuscany,” artist Dale Sheldon creates an illusion with her artistic approach. “Soft colors and loose brush strokes create the magic of light and airy clouds and silver leaves on the trees in an olive orchard in Tuscany.”

Of course, “loosen up,” can have its more literal meaning, as it does in artist Lesley McCaskill’s acrylic painting, “Best Buddies on a Beach Stroll.When you are buddies each of you must compromise.  Lesley says she has been watching dogs and their owners taking beach walks. You can tell by how loose the leash is who is doing the most compromising.