Johnson paints dreamy scene
Though the sunny beach scenes depicted at SCC Art Gallery's exhibit "Air and Water" may be a bit foreign to Seattleites as winter grabs hold here in the Northwest, they do offer a unique perspective on the interaction between land forms, bodies of water and people.
The gallery, which is comprised of paintings by Nancy Johnson created in the span from the 1980's to the present, features works on paper, oil on canvas and watercolor.
Heavy brush strokes meander their way across the canvas work, creating both a sense of texture akin to the natural world and a slight smudge affect that renders each piece as if it was a slightly out of focus photograph.
The lack of fine detail gives the people present in some of the paintings anonymity, and places greater emphasis on their surroundings which often involve shimmering aqua teal water and blue skies.
In one untitled composition, a woman with her peacefully closed eyes floats in what looks to be open ocean; in another, a woman, again with closed eyelids, lays back and is nearly submerged at the edge of a pool. They are both alone and while neither shows a trace of happiness, a sense of subtle complacency seems present.
The tranquility shown on these faces extends to other paintings in the exhibit, even those without human beings as part of the landscape.
In a painting titled "Land's End" (see photo), a small dock lingers out into open water as cotton ball clouds dot the pale sky. In the distance, an island sits as a tiny bump on the horizon.
The gallery, open from 9 – 5 Monday through Friday, runs through Dec. 1 in the Administration (1000) Building.
Ian Terry, Photo editor