From abstraction to realism, Skagit exhibits invite introspection

Ora Sawyers

A cluster of what seem to be penguins stare in Joshua R. McDonald’s “Scented Dusk” — one particular of his oil and chilly wax operates on look at in the exhibition “Terrebonne” displaying via Sunday, July 30 at Edison’s I.E. Gallery. 

My eye seeks something residing amongst the curves and blocks in this quite patterned abstraction in heat brown, black and numerous really subtly registered hues of green — the full neatly scored with vertical lines. And using a action back again, you may be startled by a doubled composition peeking from at the rear of. Several of McDonald’s is effective also aspect a smaller profile of an animal — in this scenario, a rabbit — hiding amongst the abstract components.

All of McDonald’s pieces on perspective share a confined, harmonious palette and restrained, evocative shapes. “Shadow Marsh” hints at swans and maybe an elephant, when at the exact same time preserving a strictly cubist aesthetic.

The show is named following the compact city of Terrebonne, Oregon, in the vicinity of the place McDonald lived as a boy or girl. He mixes abstraction and symbolism to categorical his really like for the higher-desert landscape and the ranch residence in which he grew up.

photo  At I.E. Gallery in Edison, Joshua R. McDonald’s “Terrebonne” exhibition reveals items sharing a minimal, harmonious palette and restrained, evocative designs. A sequence of gestures and heat tones in “Lonesome Co.” look to counsel the spirit of 1920s “flappers.” It is a perform of great self esteem. (Image by Stephen Hunter)  

In his painting “Red Acres,” animal references are replaced by blades of grass in the shades earth-purple, tan, white and black. The sequence of gestures and warm tones in “Lonesome Co.” look to suggest the spirit of 1920s “flappers.” It’s a function of excellent self-assurance one thing about the nodding styles tugs at the heartstrings.

As McDonald’s do the job gets to be much more challenging — “Some Hills Are Never Seen” and “Grazer” — it dangers getting to be frustrating. “Nature Revisited,” made of a handful of vertical, repeating features, provides a fulfilling structural solidity.

His lesser performs these types of as “Cruciferous,” “Slow Dive,” “Sowing Seed” and “Grassland” counsel ingenious puzzle pieces. I would welcome all four of them to enliven a hallway.

Completely, this is a refreshing exhibit of impressed get the job done by a young learn, from whom we can count on to see additional wonderful factors.

In Mount Vernon, “Hem of Heaven” is the title of an exhibition of the realist get the job done of artist Catherine Eaton Skinner at Perry and Carlson Gallery. In a lifetime devoted to artwork, Skinner has uncovered inspiration equally in the Northwest setting and Japanese philosophy. She has mastered lots of media, and in this rich exhibit, delivers monotypes, encaustics, oil-on-prints, bronze castings and even poetry.  

Ravens and trees are among the Skinner’s favourite topics. “Rising Ravens IV” incorporates 20 chicken photographs composed of beeswax, graphite, Encaustiflex paper, lead sheeting and bamboo, all suspended from a wooden panel. “Birdman” memorializes ravens in cast bronze, and in “Kunzi IX” she portrays a further flock in just a guide-included panel, alone hung with a plumb bob. 

photo  Catherine Skinner’s examine of two pines, “Shing Sdong,” is dreamlike and enchanting. (Picture by Stephen Hunter)  

Her “Lungi Kam” operates are pleasant in encaustic, oil stick and graphite, portraying ravens soaring versus splendid skies. Skinner arranges 30 of the corvids really convincingly in “Lungi Kam XI.” “Lungi Kam XV” sets 5 of the outstanding birds in opposition to darkening clouds. In “Lungi Kam XVI” a fifty percent-dozen ravens celebrate a sensuous sky dominated by two hypnotic, rosy orbs. 

Skinner’s “Tangent” encaustics are delicate and vibrant abstractions. “Passages IX” (encaustic, oil adhere, paper on panel) is a semi-realist get the job done boasting a magnificently rendered sky. Image-monotypes “Forest” and “Marsh” are lovely and fairly abstract. “Forest III,” in pale yellow streaked with red and black, is gorgeous and intriguing.

Specially numinous is Skinner’s hanging panel in black and white: two identical tree photos with shade reversed accompany her poem, which commences, “Is the wind holding its breath or am I —”

The artist offers a variety of finely crafted landscapes. “Traces VII” (archival print on paper, encaustic and oil on panel) characteristics a graceful tree leaning toward the viewer, framed by vivid clouds. Her research of two pines, “Shing Sdong,” is dreamlike and enchanting. But what’s the this means of the pink marks on images in “Passages” and “Teelum 1”? 

The disparate performs in Skinner’s exhibit are a visual autobiography, displaying the appreciate of nature and the loaded religious inheritance of India, China and Japan which shines via her function. 

“Terrebonne” shows from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays via Sundays, or by appointment, at 5800 Cains Courtroom, Edison. “Hem and Heaven” can be seen from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day at 504 S. To start with St., Mount Vernon. Each reveals close Sunday, July 30. Info: ieedison.com or perryandcarlson.com

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