Charles Fenner Ball, “Autumn Grove,” oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches

Camden Falls Gallery in Maine has mounted a great exhibition to cap off 2017, featuring the works of Susan Graeber, Kathleen Robbins, Charles Fenner Ball, and Stefan Pastuhov! Details here.

Via Camden Falls Gallery:

The bittersweet season is once more enfolding us, even as Autumn reaps its small deaths in the gardens and fields, it also leaves us with a vibrant display of color. The final bright blaze of a visual symphony issues a challenge, and sparks a hope in us, as we enter the winter months to come.

Our four featured artists are not “going gently into that dark night,” but have summoned new energy and passion evident in our final show of the season.

Susan Graeber’s paintings give equal weight to the positive and negative forms created by the interplay of tree trunks and the atmospheric environment. In her painting “Golden Fall Birch Trees,” the influence of Neil Welliver on her work is discernible and strongly apparent. Both artists spend hours in their studio, and in the woods to visually decode the complex patterns of the deep mysterious forests that surround them. Graeber also draws inspiration from Fairfield Porter, whose masterful use of interlocking color, informs her own tight compositions of foliage.

Susan Graeber, “Golden Fall Birch Trees,” oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches

The recent studio pieces by Kathleen Robbins explore another aspect of the natural world in chromatic flux, the autumn Marsh. By melding her plein air sketches with photographic references and sense memory, she powerfully invokes the low-lying wetlands. What some might dismiss as a wasteland, comes “alive with color, texture, and sharp contrasts” through Robbins’ realization of the landscape. Robbins summarizes her style by saying, “…ultimately, my paintings navigate the elusive snaking line between abstraction and figuration.”

Kathleen Robbins, “Autumn Marsh I,” oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

One of our newest in-house artists, Charles Fenner Ball, moved east from Santa Fe. Out west, he was drawn to mountain groves of aspen, where he could respond with painterly immediacy, or store up and distill the mystical qualities of these natural tree sanctuaries. Aspen and Birch are closely related, both belonging to the poplar family. The artist writes, “…my love of aspens has been supplanted by birch trees, which offer very similar aesthetic characteristics… The white bark (of the birch) is like a blank canvas, reflecting the nature that surrounds it — the sun and sky, warm and cool reflected light, the foliage of the ground and trees.” Instead of depicting a specific location, Ball will often draw on his memories of landscapes, which coalesce into his idealized vision.

Stefan Pastuhov, “From the Golden Road, Katahdin,” oil on canvas, 11 x 14 inches

The tireless plein-air painter Stefan Pastuhov captures the low glow of autumnal light on treetops in his painting of the peaks of Katahdin, entitled “From the Golden Road, Katahdin.” This is a true Jewel of a painting interpreting one of Maine’s most magnificent state parks. Pastuhov captures the majestic glitter of autumnal foliage that adorns the timberland and mountainous landscape overlooked by a sentry birch. With the twinkle of the lake and clouds receding past the mountain, the brisk beautiful autumn weather is conveyed and felt.

To learn more, visit Camden Falls Gallery.

This article was featured in PleinAir Today, a weekly e-newsletter from PleinAir magazine. To start receiving PleinAir Today for free, click here.

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Editor PleinAir Today, Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Plein Air Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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