All of the artists featured in Figuratively Speaking evoke a sense of insight and intrigue for the world in which we live. Each painter draws from subjects that are well known to all of us, approaching them in entirely unique and personal ways. The conglomerate of such strikingly different styles creates a very exciting exhibition that cannot be missed.
Delicate and keenly observed, Joe Bottomly's landscapes are deceptively easy to slip into. Bottomly paints rural scenes in oil, most no more than eighteen inches high. He focuses on mid-size scenes: a pond, an orchard, or one barn and its clutch of cows.
The kind of realism Bottomly achieves in these paintings is the result of technical mastery. Textures are precise, allowing him to effortlessly depict the difference between spiky, dry grass and soft cloud tendrils. With his brush, Bottomly captures the soft sunlight in the middle distance and the haziness of the horizon. His palette is endlessly malleable, accommodating any scene's hour and climate. His uncluttered compositions are framed with a light hand in order to draw the audience in and then allow them to breathe freely. A Bottomly painting is also an immersive experience in touch, sound, and time.
Bottomly was born in Great Falls, Montana and currently divides his time between California and Montana. Having studied art at the Florence Academy of Art, he remains close with the art community in Florence, Italy.
Born in Dijon, France, Georges Castille studied Decorative Arts before putting his passion for art on the back-burner to become an engineer. Years later, Georges Castille reconnected with art, creating tables, woodcarvings, and sculptures. This exploration of three-dimensional objects has led Georges Castille to his current body of work, in which relief woodcarvings provide a surface for polychromatic paintings that make full use of the color spectrum. Georges Castille’s skillful use of gradients unifies the wood elements and results in explosive, eye-catching work.
The female figure, which Georges Castille considers to be an “essential and inexhaustible force,” features predominantly in his artwork. By incorporating three-dimensional elements, Georges Castille brings added strength and value to each piece, further sublimating his subjects. Each painting seems to have been created in defiance of stasis. Even his abstract forms — barbed polychromatic shapes — hint at movement, like a chaotic underwater tumbling. Georges Castille blends technical knowledge with aesthetic vision in each piece, leavening his work with a sense of joyful rediscovery.
Lawrence J. Davis
The paintings of American artist Lawrence J. Davis are meant to be gentle reminders to slow down, to break free of the busyness of today's harried world, and to appreciate the lives we have been granted. Focusing on vintage contexts and natural landscapes, Davis combines a strong sense of realism and attention to line and form with an expressionistic bent, most apparent in his color palettes and unique compositional elements.
Inspired by such artists as Andrew Wyeth, Peter Schulthorpe, and Richard Bollinger, Davis strives to capture the wonder in the mundane and hearken back to a simpler time. After receiving a BFA degree and working in graphic design for many years, Davis left the professional art world for medicine, where he still works today. Of course, Davis has not left art behind, and currently favors the mediums of oil paints and watercolor.
Per Lindqvist paints the pictures he feels are missing from the world. His oil paintings depict urban landscapes that flirt with photorealism before evolving into an expression of his own memory. With his work, Lindqvist hopes to capture “the feeling of presence.” To him, memory is not solely a visual experience; it’s a sensory multitude that must be felt as much as it is seen.
Light plays an essential role in Lindqvist’s work. His shifting tones dance through night scenes like neon and fluorescent lights. The frenetic energy of these scenes seems like a perfect translation of the city after hours. In contrast, Lindqvist’s daylight paintings track the lugubrious march of the sun by the shadows that lean across the urban landscape. All of his paintings are alive with a sense of movement, allowing the viewer to tap into his or her own memories of their own cities and feel present in the rush or slowness of the scene. In these moments, the viewer walks the streets with Lindqvist and shares, for a time, a memory of a place he or she has never been.
For Wallace, a British and French artist, “war and its accouterments” serves as an appropriate focus. Wallace’s recent work, which consists primarily of repurposed vintage postcards from 1920s and 1930s Belgium and France, makes use of both image and text, resulting in a photographic print that reimagines history without overtly altering the source material.
Rather than collaging in the traditional sense, Wallace replicates each image anywhere from a few to a dozen times, transforming it into a pattern. These patterns are paired together, and the result, depending on the source material, ranges from the bureaucratic to the romantic. The former is derived from formal sepia portraits, stamps, and line drawings of official buildings, while the latter features colorized photographs of subjects with relaxed or sentimental expressions. Despite the aesthetic differences, though, a closer examination will unearth love letters anchoring the bureaucratic pieces, revealing the humanity that penetrates ordered systems and wins out in the end, despite mankind’s best efforts. It is the heart Wallace searches for and finds in each print.