By Emily Pysczynski
(Artscope is proud of its intern program which has an end goal of helping area college students polish their writing, reporting and research skills to help develop the next generation of art reviwers and critics. We’re happy to feature the newest member of our staff her on the artscope zine)
South End Boston, Mass. – It was wonderful to get to meet so many incredibly talented artists at the SOWA Open Studios event this year. There was so much to see and so many interesting people to meet that it was hard to ever leave. Two artists based at 450 Harrison Ave. left quite an impression on me when I stepped into their studios, and I came away from this event loving art more than I ever knew I did.
When I think of distortions, I typically call to mind abstract works that stretch beyond reality or possibly transform the ordinary into something comical. However, B. Glee Lucas’ still life glasswork paintings explore distortions that exist in our everyday living spaces. Her paintings beautifully capture the mesmerizing qualities of refracted light and allow viewers to experience an enchanting perspective that often gets overlooked. I particularly admire her paintings that capture reflections that exist beyond the frame.
One painting depicts two wine glasses positioned beside each other, with rolling, grassy fields in the background. The reflections that are captured in these glasses are not from the pleasant greenery in the background, but from the clouds that hover outside the borders of the scene. I feel that the wispy hues of blues and pinks, drowning in those glasses of wine, acknowledge that there are always little bits of beauty floating just outside our line of sight. Sometimes we just need a change of perspective – or maybe a little bit of alcohol – to see them.
Ever since visiting Lucas’ studio (450 Harrison Ave. #300A), I’ve found myself peering through glass jars and plastic bottles and beginning to understand just how luring they can be, once their little tricks have been revealed. While speaking with Lucas, she smiled and admitted she’s been trying to stay away from garage sales and vintage shops — there are just too many beautifully crafted pieces of glass and too little time to paint all of them.
June Blanco is another artist who warmly welcomed me into her studio (450 Harrison Ave. #207),. Most of her large canvases have taken her three years or more to complete. As a painter, she has also become somewhat of a builder; carefully layering brush stroke over brush stroke until her paintings quite literally reach out from the canvas. Blanco’s festive color palette and the near rhythmical quality that pulses from her work are reminders of the many years she lived in Colombia.
One painting in particular looks as though the circular chunks of paint are lifting off the canvas to the beat of Colombian music, which played quietly from Blanco’s stereo. The orange points set against the muted greens and waves of blue organizes a choreography that is best appreciated with Colombian rhythms playing in the background.
Blanco said she never really knows what she’s going to create when she starts a new painting. Even if she starts out with somewhat of an idea or a sketch, the paint will always take her somewhere she didn’t quite expect. One of her largest paintings on display in her studio really demonstrates the painting process and the retelling of a story with each new layer. The middle of the canvas exposes all the multi-colored dabs and strokes of of her paintbrush, peeking through the dark green veins and the thumbprint-like plateaus of paint that float above it all. It’s like peeking inside the painting, at all the little vulnerable parts that helped it become what it is.
(Many of the artists of the SoWA Artists’ Guild open their studios each month as part of First Friday festivities taking place from 5-9 p.m. For more information, visit sowaboston.com)