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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Imagine Sky: Dream in Color

Joe Kaz's wall in "Dream in Color"

 "Dream in Color" - a duo show of Joe Kazimierczyk and Gail Bracegirdle running July 10 - August 3, 2014 at:

Artists' Gallery
18 Bridge Street
Lambertville, NJ
[map & directions]
Gallery hours: Thursday through Sunday 11am-6pm

"Imagined Sky #12"
6x8" oil on linen

This the first show where I've ever had such a strong theme - all of my paintings are cloudscapes and skyscapes.   And of the 25 paintings I'm showing, 21 of them were done from memory and imagination - something I've rarely done before.

I hung a sign on the wall explaining a bit about this series, so here it is:

Imagine Sky

I paint on location quite a bit, and when working this way, one has to paint fast because things can change very quickly - the sun moves, shadows shift, and the scene can look very different minute by minute.  This is true when painting landscapes with trees or buildings, but it's especially true when paintings skies.  Clouds can move very fast, and sunsets can change dramatically second by second.  So even when I paint on location, I'm usually painting the skies from how I remember they looked at a certain point in time.   When memory isn't serving me, I imagine what the sky looked like at that certain moment.

With this in mind, I did a series of "Imagined Skies" painted entirely from memory and imagination..  This gave me the freedom to create works with a certain color scheme in mind, a certain mood, a feeling of quiet stillness, or nature at it's most dramatic...  I had the freedom to try anything I could imagine but I always strove for a strong sense of realism, or heightened realism.

Working on this series, I spent every opportunity I had just looking at skies - the artist's life is a tough one!   Some of these paintings were inspired by sky colors or cloud shapes from memory, some were totally imagined.  I suspect that my own memory is half imagined anyway!

Some of the foregrounds are memories of places that I'm very familiar with - a park I visit often, the field across the street from my home.   And when I now compare those paintings to the actual place, it's not the match one would expect.  Yet the painting feels like the place to me, more so than a photograph would, and this is causing me to reexamine how I define realism - a visually accurate rendition of a place verses an artwork that invokes the spirit of a place - which is more 'real'?

I'll probably continue this series for a while, and hope to use some of the lessons learned in exploring other subjects as well.

Thanks for looking,

Joe Kazimierczyk

Gail Bracegirdle also has a strong theme to her half of the show - watercolor florals done on crinkled paper - you have to see them in person to fully appreciate the texture that the paper adds to the work.

Gail Bracegirdle's wall in "Dream in Color"


  1. Anonymous2:23 PM

    You are a modern day Turner!

  2. Joe Really Nice !
    Phil Carroll


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