La Jolla’s Riford Library has a winner with its latest plein-air art show

‘Harbor Entrance’ by Carolyn Hesse-Low

Picture 2 of 9

Photo by Will Bowen

• PHOTO GALLERY: Click on the NEXT> button above to see all 9 photos from the “Fresh Paint” art-exhibit opening.

What: ‘Fresh Paint’ art exhibit with works for sale to benefit Riford Library
Where: Riford Library’s Community Room, 7555 Draper Ave., La Jolla
When: Sept. 29 to Dec. 31, 2013
Admission: Free
1-5 p.m. Sunday
12:30-5 p.m. Monday
12:30-8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday
9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday,

LET’S REVIEW / By Will Bowen

You don’t want it to end! What? The Riford Library artists’ reception for “Fresh Paint.” Why?

Because you come in skeptical, like an old prude or a “ho-hum” stick-in-the-mud who doesn’t really want to look at some dumb landscapes, and you are transformed into an upbeat, smiling art lover and plein-air “apprecianado” who wants to hop on the library art bandwagon!

How does that happen?

Well, maybe it was the New York-style thin-crusted Amici’s pizza, tangy cheeses and sweetie cupcakes served, or maybe the heartwarming Hawaiian ukulele music got you, or else you were enchanted by the lively plein-air artworks presented by the attractive art committee ladies, who give out so much affection.

On Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 from 2 to 4 p.m. you missed another wonderful library art reception, this time for the new show titled, “Fresh Paint: Impressions of California Plein-Air Artists,” and it was a Jim Dandy. The library art gallery climbed another rung on the ladder to the stars with this exhibition, which features the work of 15 of California’s top plein-air artists.

Dwaine Best, a scene and set painter for the La Jolla Playhouse, put his assessment of the quality of the exhibition in a nutshell: “You can feel the different environments the artists are in — each is so fresh!”

Artist Toni Williams had advice for those seeking a better understanding of how to view plein-air paintings. “You ask, ‘does the painting have a strong focal point?’ which is where the darkest darks meet the lightest lights. If you squint for a moment while looking at the picture, you can more easily find its focal point.”

Williams said the importance of plein-air painting is that it captures the landscape before it disappears in the face of ongoing development and gives us a feeling of where we live.

Artist Caroline Hesse–Low added that looking at plein-air paintings helps us become better observers of the natural world – another reason to restore art to the curriculum of our schools!

Artist Ken Goldman quipped, “Plein-air art is such hard work! We are trying to put the eternal into the transitory,” to capture a fleeting moment when the light is just so, and preserve that moment in a way that is valid and meaningful across time, space and cultures. Goldman thinks you can tell a good plein-air painting by its “spontaneity.” “It must look like it just happened,” he said.

Artist Patricia Jasper Clark said she looks for the depiction of the light in a plein-air painting when accessing its quality. “A painting is good when the light is true,” she said.

Sarah Lucy, head librarian at The Bishop’s School, called the work of Scottie Brown and Jasper Clark, “just gorgeous.”

Much discussed by onlookers was the work of Brian Blood. On one hand, Blood could be considered the best modern, plein-air artist, a reincarnation of the turn-of-the-century masters, likes Bischoff, Braun and Mitchell. Blood’s work seems to be of that period with equal quality. However, others consider him to be a superb copyist, without a unique style.

Other controversial comments surrounded Hesse-Low’s “Harbor Entrance.” The painting looks down the Point Loma hillside toward Ballast Point, but the flora depicted on the hillside is inaccurate, violating the rule that plein-air paintings need to be historical records of the landscape for posterity.

The best painting of the show? Kris Jeffery and Adrian Bjeldness were on the right track when they pointed to the old sheds on the roadside by Robin Hall, titled “Looking Back.”

What will your choice be?

This reviewer can’t wait for the next Riford Library art reception! Bravo!

Related posts:

  1. Art lovers flock to annual La Jolla Festival of the Arts
  2. La Jolla’s Best Bets for Events: April 26-May 5: Music, dance, photo/art exhibits, La Jolla Half Marathon, Cinco de Mayo party, historical walking tours and more
  3. New Athenaeum book celebrates 20 years, 40 artists of La Jolla’s Music & Arts Library
  4. ‘Lifelike’ exhibit re-imagines reality at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla
  5. The Klines make a fine, funny art of dining out at Athenaeum exhibit in La Jolla

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Posted by Staff on Oct 17, 2013. Filed under A & E, Art, Art Galleries & Institutions, La Jolla Life, Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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