Three oil painters featured at Montgomery-Lee at Last Friday Gallery Stroll
Exhibit opening by Dean Bradshaw, Bonnie Posselli and Ken Spencer 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22 Montgomery-Lee Fine Art, 608 Main St. Free montgomeryleefineart.com
When art lovers visit Montgomery-Lee Fine Art this Friday during the Park City Gallery Association’s monthly gallery stroll, they will experience paintings by Dean Bradshaw, Bonnie Posselli and J. Ken Spencer.
The artists, who work with oils, approach their craft differently but with same goal — to create captivating art, they said.
The exhibit will open at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, at Montgomery-Lee Fine Art, 608 Main St., and all three artists will be in attendance.
Dean Bradshaw’s works were inspired by Northern Utah’s mountain scenery, including areas of the Wasatch Range up Millcreek Canyon near Salt Lake City and the Uinta Mountains outside of Kamas.
While he’s out exploring, his eyes continue to look for interesting scenery compositions.
“If you get a good composition, you can start manipulating the painting with the texture and color of oil paints, which will make it more eye grabbing,” Bradshaw said.
Although the painter enjoys painting different landscapes, he is most known for his depictions of trees.
“That’s because I’m drawn to the strong design elements of trees like aspens,” he said. “They have a captivating look, and when you add that with the nostalgia that people, who have walked among aspens, bring in when they see them, the painting affects them.”
With that in mind, Bradshaw is continually trying to bring back moments his viewers have experienced in nature, he said.
“There is nothing like the feeling of walking in the forest surrounded by aspens,” Bradshaw said. “For many people, it feels like they are walking in Heaven.”
When a painting starts to work, Bradshaw loses himself in the process of applying, spreading and sculpting the oil paints.
“You just zone out and don’t think about anything else,” he said. “You don’t realize when the day ends. It’s nice to do something without having to think.”
Over the years, Bradshaw has also learned to trust his instincts when he finishes a painting.
“Sometimes you just know when it’s done,” he said. “Usually, the more you work it, the worse it gets. So just knowing when to quit comes with doing hundreds of paintings.”
For information about Dean Bradshaw, visit deanbradshawart.com.
Bonnie Posselli paints scenes she loves, especially the scenes that she experiences throughout her life.
Her grandparents were farmers, and their livestock still inspires her, she said.
“So I have a love for those,” said Posselli, whose book “Paintings of Bonnie Posselli” will also be available at the gallery. “I also do have property in Torrey, and paint quite a bit of that.”
The painter is also inspired by her travels to South America over the years.
“I do have a large variety of subject matter, and they are all part of who I am,” she said.
With that large repertoire, Posselli continues to challenge herself by painting fresh scenes yet in keeping with themes. To do that, she utilizes a versatile color palette.
“You still want to be inspired by something a little bit new, so I look for the energy I want to express in the light and mood with colors I use,” she said.
Oils satisfy Posselli’s need for rich hues, shades and highlights, and they also add to the physicality of painting, according to the artist.
“I love oils because of the variety ways to apply it to the canvas,” she said. “I like to do layers and washes. I like working with palette knives, and there aren’t a lot of mediums that will allow you to do that.”
Like Bradshaw, Posselli can get lost in creating a work.
“Sometimes time moves faster than you want it to, but other times you lose yourself in the moment,” she said. “That’s my preference. I don’t want to think of anything else while I’m painting. Generally the best paintings are done pretty quickly and you just know when they are done.”
For information about Bonnie Posselli, visit bonnieposselli.com.
J. Ken Spencer’s goal for his art comes in levels.
“I really strive to make my paintings interesting from 12 inches away, six feet away and 20 feet away,” he said. “I feel if I’ve done what I hoped to have done, the paintings are interesting to look at those three different distances.”
From 12 inches away, Spencer wants his works to look abstract.
“I want viewers to see a fragmentation of the paint surface,” he said. “I want them to see just a mishmash of marks.”
At six feet away, Spencer wants his viewers to see how the marks resolve into a scene that could include villages, trees and oceans.
“At 20 feet, I would like people to see simple shapes and masses,” he said. “I’m fundamentally attracted to design and the breakup of space.”
While working on a painting, Spencer takes artistic license and manipulates composition from the design.
“To me, the composition involves the design, but it also involves the use of color and the way the lines and edges take the eye through the painting,” he said. “I strive for a rhythm and harmony and variety, which are universal in the arts. If a rhythm is too regular, it gets boring. If it’s too varied, the painting becomes chaotic.”
Like Posselli and Bradshaw, Spencer paints with oil.
“One thing I like about oil is the richness of the color and the longevity of the medium,” he said. “There is a lot of history and a lot of technical knowhow to make sure oil paintings are archival.”
The painter uses palette knives and brushes to apply the oils to the canvas.
“When I’m in a painting and it’s working there is a flow,” he said. “I can explore the nuances and use the knife to break up the masses.”
Sometimes, Spencer wrestles with his works.
“I may need to put the painting away for a bit and then take it out and evaluate it,” he said. “I may go back and deconstruct to rebuild it again. There is the blend of the magic of creativity and the unknown that come together to make art.”
For information about Ken Spencer, visit Jkenspencer.com.
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