Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Co|So Exhibitions :: Nancy Colella's "Beach Peeks"

To help put you in a summertime frame of mind, Copley artist Nancy Colella is exhibiting her atmospheric images that depict the effect sunlight has on sea side architecture. “Beach Peeks” is her first solo show at Co|So, and brightly fills the Red Room with the feeling of being on a summer vacation. Each painting uniquely captures the essence of light and air that she experiences in her coastal neighborhood.  Colella describes her work as, “immediate and spontaneous impressions of my reactions to everyday life.” Colella reduces her work down to its primary elements by limiting brush strokes, and approaching each subject abstractly while working gradually to add details.  Her strong contrast between light and dark colors helps unify the composition, achieving an organized rhythm and balance of brush stroke, color and texture.  

Nancy Colella, Outdoor Shower, 8 x 10, oil on canvas

In “Outdoor Shower,” Colella captures one of the most recognizable features of a beach house:  the outdoor shower. The shower, while situated in the center of the work, is integrated into the side of the house and almost lost in the overall compositional focus on the contrast of light and shadow. Colella achieves varying textures via thick application of paint, which increases the sense of depth in the image.  The shrubbery and the landscape are defined by painterly brush strokes, and balance the flattened lines used to identify the prominent architectural features. The cast shadows and quality of light place the viewer in mid-afternoon on a summer’s day.   

Nancy Colella, Private Road, 16 x 20, oil on canvas

Like “Outdoor Shower,” on the surface “Private Road” features the typical South Shore beach house, but in essence portrays the atmosphere and feeling of the summer light and air. The dramatic shadows delineated by sharp tonal contrasts in the house in the foreground are clearly distinguished from the sunlight-steeped yellow house in the background. This delineation in tonality allows a greater sense of depth and atmosphere. Similarly, the bright blue sky, which sits almost flat on the canvas, reinforces the pure air quality that the viewer can almost feel. 

Nancy Colella’s “Beach Peeks” will be on display at the Copley Society of Art until August 21.  The artist will speak about her work in the gallery on Saturday, June 30 from 1:00 to 3:00pm.  We look forward to seeing you in the gallery during these upcoming warmer months!

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