We honestly can't imagine a more fun business to be in than owning a fine art gallery. If you love art and are passionate about it the way we are, every day is like being in a candy store. The walls, which change on a daily basis, are simply bursting with paintings that are beautifully rendered by our family of talented artists. We love how our little gallery embraces all styles and media of work, from exquisitely detailed representational paintings to wild, fun and colorful abstracts. Throw in sweeping landscapes, seascapes, elegant florals and still lifes or an intimate peek at a chic restaurant scene and you've got a mental picture of what the gallery looks like on any given day.
Last week, as Linda and Mac were rehanging the walls for the umpteenth time, I had a little moment with a painting I've always loved, by an artist I've always loved.
Here's what I adore about this painting, Rust and Stardust II by Charles Ross:
I guess I'm a neutral girl at heart. I find I'm always gravitating to tone-on-tones or lushly layered singular colors, mostly whites and grays. Don't get me wrong, I love a happy burst of color but my heart lies with quiet hues. So, first of all, I adore Charles' quiet play with gray and whites that run from cool to warm on the canvas. Second, the cozy tones of the peach and pink (that pink!) are a perfect balance to the rest of the painting. And little slashes of hot red add zing.
Close up and personal: that pink!
The warm peach hue keeps the painting from reading too cool.
Abstracts are notoriously difficult to paint, but Charles Ross is no stranger to them. He's mastered the elements that are crucial for an abstract: a defined focal point that draws your eye in and, very important, plenty of negative space which allows your eye to wander around the canvas at leisure. Honestly, everytime I study this painting, I see something new in it.
The focal point is clearly defined.
Charles' work is typically not overly textured. He prefers layers of thinly applied paint that blend, run and drip in harmony on the canvas. But look closely and you'll see how those layers are so much more complicated than they look. Charles uses squiggles in pencil and crayon to add definition to all that paint.
I checked in with Ann, Linda and Mac to get their read on this painting - knowing very well that art is completely subjective and personal. It turns out they love it just as much as I do.
Ann: I love the value contrast between the darks and lights which draws you in with depth and definition. I also like the gradations of colors and the unexpected touches of pink and orange, which soften the edges and give this somewhat manly painting a feminine touch. And lastly the composition is balanced and soothing. You could stare at it for hours and see something different every time … which is why we love art!
Linda: I love the hot and cool quality appealing to all senses. There is wonderful energy with the pops of color but also soothing with its tonal qualities of black, gray, cream and white which will feel at home in any decor.
Finally, pink is welcome in any painting as it’s happy and plays well with all colors. Plus it was my mother’s favorite color!
Mac: I love the thoughtful choice of color and composition in this piece. The neutral tones paired with a warm palette work together in harmony to spark inspiration and imagination in the viewer. It's a perfect balance of sophistication and playfulness.
Finally, in case you're wondering how this painting would look in a room, take a peek right here:
Charles' work is always a chic addition to a vignette.
Here's another shot of his work in a vignette that we shot recently - isn't this gorgeous?
There are those trademark cool tones balanced by warm peaches and pinks - and that zing of red, which I just love. And if you're intrigued by abstracts but not quite sure what you're supposed to be looking at, read our blog about how to decipher an abstract.
We've got plenty of Charles Ross's work at the gallery, so pop by anytime to see them up close and personal - or if you're not local, see them here. We hope you'll feel like a kid in a candy store too!