Thursday, June 20, 2013

Melissa Anne Miller - Recent Works

McGowan Fine Art announces the opening of “Recent Works” featuring the paintings of Melissa Anne Miller. The show will run from July 16 – August 31, with a reception on July 19 from 5 to 7 PM.  This is free and open to the public.

“Recent Works” will feature the quiet scenes by Ms. Miller that have become familiar to the people of New Hampshire and synonymous with the city of Concord. Her heightened colors and sense of light make her work distinctive and a favorite with everyone.  Even those who are unfamiliar with Concord’s crowded streets and turn of the century downtown admire her paintings. They have a universal feel of home, which appeals to people, wherever they are from. Miller will have oil and acrylic paintings on display.  

Miller often revisits the same scene to capture different times of day, and different seasons. A cool, blue autumn sky, and a dramatic shadow cast by a barren tree in “White House with Tree, Late Fall” is contrasted by the warm early morning light. The same tree is now in full bloom, revealing little bits of sky, in “White House with Tree, Spring”. Daubs of sunlight peek through leaves.

Miller is currently collaborating with the Concord Public Library Foundation and Puritan Press to produce a series of bookmarks featuring snippets of her paintings, themed to the changing seasons. Her paintings have always been collected by many businesses and firms throughout New Hampshire- most notably Southern NH University, TD Banknorth in Manchester, NH Historical Society and Rath Young &; Pignatelli’s office in Concord.

This exhibit will be on display at McGowan Fine Art at 10 Hills Avenue in Concord, NH. Please call Sarah Chaffee at 603-225-2515 for more information or visit our website at, or contact at Hours: T-F 10-6, and Sat 10-2 and by appointment.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Synesthesia & Painting

McGowan Fine Art recently brought in the work of Liz Wilson, a young artist from the Seacoast area. Her works are comprised of beautifully transparent and calligraphic brush strokes that create an object which floats in the large field of white paper. The layering of strokes creates new colors and forms on the page. Pale washes create a halo-like effect around denser, more opaque strokes. Her use of color is what first caught my eye, but as I get to live with them I find I am also drawn to what she doesn’t paint. The creamy field of paper provides a structure for the color object.

After bringing in the work I learned that Liz has a perceptional condition called synesthesia, which very simply put causes the person to involuntarily equate colors with certain visual or auditory stimulation. This sort of information causes me to go back to the work to see if it informs it in any way. It didn’t change my initial reaction to the work but I have to acknowledge that having synesthesia must mean that she is very sensitive to colors and that they can invoke more than a visual response in people.

Liz says about her work, “These paintings are impressions of my experience in the world at a specific moment.  When I am able to focus inward, I see in my mind’s eye my sensory experience translated into shape and color. This experience is part of my reality; it is the author, creator of my painting language.  In the process of making the images I simplify and to a degree caricaturize my experiences.  The source of the images is specific.  However, what I am depicting is the sensation that I took from a moment.”

Ironically a customer came in to the gallery this past week and announced she had synesthesia. Each letter is associated with a certain color for her. Still grappling with what this must look like I asked her what my name would look like. No doubt this is considered a silly parlor trick for those with the condition but it helped me understand what they must be seeing.