Susan Johnson and her oil-bar drawings are the feature of Waterstone Gallery’s small works show, which starts in December and runs through January.
Johnson’s images have the strength of oil paintings, but they are drawn with layers of lines using oil-paint sticks referred to as oil bars. To create these bars, pigments are fused with waxes and refined linseed oil to create the quality of oil paint with the convenience of a crayon-like utensil. The drawings are created on acid-free mat board framed behind glass or drawn on paneled clay or gesso board.
The artist describes her art as “contemplations on the incidents and scenes of my personal experience. Abstracted to their basic shapes, they become bold color-blocked landscapes, shadowy patterns suggesting a human presence, or vibrant and rhythmic still lifes. Trees, images ‘windowed’ within images, shadows and colors are used to go beyond a simple landscape to suggest human interactions, emotions, and reactions. Pathways, the passage of time, human relations are common themes.”
About the small works, she says, “The little pictures quite effectively transcend their size with surfaces of layered, soft hues that seem capable of moving beyond their edges.”
Waterstone Gallery is located at 424 NW 12th Ave and hours are Wednesday–Saturday from 12pm–6pm and Sunday from 12pm–4pm. For information, visit waterstonegallery.com.