Once again, our little gallery walls are bursting with the most beautiful art that takes its form as abstracts, landscapes, still lifes and florals. Our artists work hard (and paintings tend to fly off the walls pretty quickly) so it's rare that a day doesn't go by with a big UPS or FedEx delivery - or, as a special treat, hand-delivery by the artists themselves.
Laura Fontaine stopped by the other day with a carful of big, luscious, luminous waterscapes which are her specialty. We've worked with Laura for years and we are full of admiration for this talented woman who is also determined, focused and a little bit sassy.
Laura’s paintings are like a balm for the soul! They are full of bright or filtered light, nuanced layers of clouds, big expansive skies and water, water and more water. Her inspiration comes from her beloved Low Country around Charleston and all the rivers, marshes and wetlands that dot that beautiful part of the country.
One painting that landed with us the other day is this stunner:
It’s called Peace and Quiet – and doesn’t that just sum up the entire piece?
I love the way the setting sun and the perspective of the river flowing into the distance bring you all the way into this painting. The sky is clearing, clouds are dissipating and there’s truly a sense of stillness and peacefulness. I like to think this painting depicts that magical hour around 7 p.m. – the hot air has softened, the humidity has dropped and you can hear all kinds of wildlife, birds and insects doing their thing. Don’t you half-expect a fin of some sort to break the glassy water?
With all the focus on the bottom third of the painting, the sky remains simple – well, let’s just say, Laura makes it look simple. Actually, it’s incredibly complex with layers and layers of paint that give it that unmistakable glow and luminosity. (An artist’s trick here – Laura often preps her canvases with Venetian plaster which accounts for the warm glow.)
I love Laura’s subtle use of pure, bright white to portray reflective light. A seasoned artist knows exactly where to apply a swoosh of bright white with the careful flick of a brush.
Here's Laura working en plein air in the Lowcountry.
One of my very favorite things about original art is its power to move the viewer by playing on emotions and senses. For Laura Fontaine, her paintings are all about creating a sense of stillness, quiet, peace and comfort with the simple beauty from nature.
I asked Ann her thoughts on this piece and here's what she said (from Paris!): "there is so much to love about this painting! Notice how it draws you in from the mouth of the river, past the glint of reflection, beyond the focal point to the horizon. It glows from cool to warm, from shade to light and from darkness to hope. It takes the brush of a talented artist to convey such a spectrum of emotion in one painting -- and do it with both subtlety and finesse."
And Linda piped in, too: "the sensation of hope and calmness that emanates from this painting really strikes me. I also can't get over how Laura portrayed the light with hint of gray clouds and shimmery rays of sunlight peeking through. It's just masterful!"
Finally, Mac put it this way: "I love this piece because of the spacious composition and how Laura's technique is equal parts polished and loose. She has a wonderful eye for color and I love the palette that she chose for this piece. It's so tranquil and full of natural luminescence. It would be a wonderful addition to any space."
I'm obviously not the only one who has fallen hook, line and sinker for this painting. Thank you, Laura for sending us all to this happy place for a little Peace and Quiet.