Gin Lammert: "Single with Character." Gin Lammert's painting "Single with Character" is a richly surfaced painting fixed atop a possible preparatory painting in reds of yet another pear. I like the physical layering of the smaller canvas on top of the 12-inch by 12-inch canvas. In a world of Photoshop layers, it is refreshing to see this. There is no blending between the two paintings but rather the bottom image serves as a foundation but also a reference to the subject of the pear. The surface of the top painting is well-“painted.” That may seem like an obvious statement, but there is no mistake that the artist built the surface and the form of the pear with paint. By the way the artist handled the paint and the blending of it, she also explored the space behind the pear with paint. She left bits of cadmium red at the edge of the composition so the viewer won’t wander too far. The space itself is ambiguous; it is both close and far. I enjoyed the play between the two canvases.
Catherine Aalto: "First Snow." I kept coming back to "First Snow" again and again. The title seems simple enough, a description of an event that happens every year, and every year it is a bit exciting to be in the first snow. Titles are usually something that can be both an invitation and a description. The composition is almost a symmetrical – quadrant arrangement. Often this can be deadly because of its static, unmoving nature. This little painting defies that age-old composition rule. While the composition seems to solidly rest, it is the color that asked and creates visual questions such as, why this green? What is my relationship to the house? It is the cool, muted color of the horizontal structure a barrier. What is the space? Near or far? The green as almost an acrid color is the focal point not only of the composition but of the questions. I enjoy the challenge that Aalto provided.