George Lawson Gallery is pleased to present recent paintings by local artists Jenny Bloomfield (originally from London and currently working in West Oakland) and Marie Van Elder (originally from Brussels and currently working in Mill Valley and Sea Ranch). For this hanging, Bloomfield and Van Elder are set in a conversation that is particularly rewarding for painting wonks like myself.

Bloomfield works in a mode that incorporates subtractive techniques and pouring, etching into prepared under-layments and then inverting her canvases, whereas Van Elder uses alla prima techniques, building up her imagery wet on wet. The two artists’ methodology could be viewed as antithetical, except both rely on culling their results from fresh grounds before the paint has set. Bloomfield’s subject is an abstracted synthesis of portraiture, architecture and biomorphic structure that engages through shifting associations.

Van Elder’s motif, from a series of studies of tree stumps and the wooded environment around her studio on the Northern California coast, verges on symbolic augury. A reception for the artists will be held at the gallery Thursday, January 9, from 5:30 to 7:30. Running concurrent with the gallery’s offering is a solo exhibition of Marie Van Elder’s painting and drawing at the San Marco Gallery at Dominican University, running from January 22 through April 7, 2020.