Back in elementary school a lot of us discovered the limits to our painting talents when we tried to put watercolor on paper. Maybe it was the paint; maybe the subject matter; or maybe the paper.
Whatever it was, for many of us, we just couldn’t seem to master it.
And then there were those one or two kids in our class that seemed to understand what to do in a way that none of us could quite understand.
Those kids are all grown up now and what they can do with paint and paper is on display at the Bryan Cultural Series Works of Paper at Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery. The show will run through the October 26.
Even though most students grew up trying their skill at painting using paper, in the world of fine art, paper isn’t used very often. Nonetheless, in the hands of some of the finest Outer Banks artists what has been created is a remarkable diversity of vision.
With 20 artists contributing their work, it is not possible to write about every work of art or even mention all the artists. That’s unfortunate because this is an extraordinary show. There is not a weak link or a painting that isn’t extraordinary in presentation, composition, and the story that it tells through art.
There are surprises some surprises, ways to think about working on paper that simply would not cross the mind of many people.
Fay Edwards made her own paper to create her paintings. As a result there is a texture to her work that is unlike anything else on the walls. Especially in her largest work, A Delicate Balance, the handmade paper gives the painting a texture, almost an extra dimension that is compelling.
One of the most unique uses of paper is Fred Vallade’s. Using beeswax on paper, a technique called encaustic, colors become bold and strong, drawing the eye to the painting. Yet the work itself is delicate. A beeswax painting can freeze or melt, although it’s melting temperature is 160.
Ally Rossow’s striking use of paper on paper creates a look like no other. The description is “paper collage,” but that doesn’t come even close to describing what what she has done.
Each color, every petal in her work Bouquet, as an example, is an individually painted piece of paper carefully laid into the work. The result is amazing, giving the impression of a three dimensional work with a vibrancy that is rarely seen.
Not every artist used a different form of paper to create their work, but even some of the more conventional uses truly stood out.
Holly Nettles created three works that are so realistic they seem leap from their frames.
Watercolors on paper tend toward smaller work with simpler themes. Peggy Saporito’s work, Antique Shop, is the absolute opposite of that type of work. Big and bold, filled with color and delicate lines it stands out as an example of how much can be done with a work on paper.
There are more than 60 works on display at the Ghost Fleet Gallery. This is a show that cries out for a visitor to the gallery to spend some time and think about what the artists have created on their works paper.