Transcendental views of nature fill gallery

Museum visitors shouldn’t dawdle, as exhibition concludes Feb. 27


“Colorado Abstracted: Five Artists Capture the Transcendental Experiences of Nature” brings a welcome glow to the Littleton Museum through Feb. 27. We hope readers will be able to visit — wish it could be extended.

A line by the famous, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Mary Oliver sets a theme: “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

Five area artists, an established group of abstract painters, have combined talents to exhibit a happy variety of paintings and a few prints in the museum gallery.

The group of five: Annamarie Mead, Cyncie Winter, Janet Rundquist, Lydia Riegle and Patricia J. Finley use a variety of mediums to create and all are skilled in their chosen mode of presentation. So very refreshing on a winter day ... abstract may be the chosen approach to interpretation, but I felt fresh air and sunshine

Each artist has a brief statement posted. Take a moment to read them. One wishes the type were a bit larger, but they offer some insight on the individuals.

When one enters the gallery, Annamarie Mead’s “Light of the Setting Sun,” to the right of the entrance, does indeed convey that glow that comes with a summer night. I could almost smell the soft, lovely air one so enjoys then! Her works are created with oil paint and cold wax on cradled birch board and the aforementioned painting is highly textured, with mountain forms.

Continue around the gallery to the right to see more of her works, after a collection of Cyncie Winter’s art which starts with “May the Forest Be With You” (2020, acrylic, 40” x 40”), which features heavy, dark plant forms — or are some critters? It invites the viewer into a warm campsite world, I think — or is a fire starting?? I prefer the cozy campsite idea! This one is fun to contemplate. It looks like the painter really enjoyed her paints — sometimes simply squeezed from the tube, with a flourish! Colors are fresh, but toned down a bit.

Each artist has between 10 and 12 pieces in varying sizes exhibited, which gives a viewer a nice feeling of possible range, and the show as a whole conveys a “mix of sight, sound, air and spirit” as the whole exhibit offers five responses to nature, using colors, textures, different paints and inks and a really nice variety of presentations.

Smooth, highly polished even, in the case of Patricia J. Finley’s pieces, which are created with ink and resin and really glow. “Pura Vida 1” and “Pura Vida 2” mean “`The Pure Life,’ as translated by Costa Ricans,” her label says. One feels knee deep in a giant flower garden!

Janet Rundquist’s “Canyon and Desert Series” surely convey the color and sunlight one experiences and her “Poetry of Nature Series” also explores ideas and light.

Lydia Riegle exhibits some paintings on canvases in acrylic, oil, graphite — and three prints, monotypes, using archival papers and crisp patterns: In the prints, she uses collage to add interest.

It is indeed rewarding to wander through this collection of abstract work and think about these artists’ joy in their Colorado surroundings. Although there’s a feeling interpreted here rather than anything realistic, the compositions and color say plenty.


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