A Mystical Approach
An Impressionist Connection to the Land
Artworks by Teresa Smith & Trish Shwart
May 21 – June 16, 2021
Winchester Galleries looks forward to featuring artworks by talented local artists Teresa Smith and Trish Shwart in our upcoming exhibition, A Mystical Approach; Impressionist Connection to the Land. Smith’s elegant brushwork paired with Shwart’s ethereal style combine to form a charming, captivating collection of works.
Trish Shwart’s recent work focuses on the connection she feels with the natural world, with an acknowledgement that she is part of a society that threatens it. Her work in interior architecture developed her interest in ‘place’ which continues to be central in her art practice. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba (Gold Medal) and the Emily Carr College of Art (Helen Pitt Award). Shwart has shown her work across Canada and in Australia. She has also been actively involved in Victoria artist-run centres such as Open Space and Xchanges Gallery.
In my paintings I create a luscious otherworld where I explore my conflicting feelings about my relationship with nature. I investigate the permeable boundaries between what I am seeing and what I feel as I experience being in nature. The paintings are a blend of memories, dreams, and real-world experiences.
My interest in landscape painting began with pushing a baby in a stroller every day to give the parents some time. As I walked, I became aware of the rich natural beauty in the urban environment. When I got back to the studio, I painted the places I had seen. Since the start of the pandemic, I have been painting en plein air and that time in nature comes back into the studio with me, energizing my work in unexpected ways.
Teresa Smith grew up in a rural area of Quebec. Her upbringing fostered her admiration for the deep woods. As a result, her work is inspired by the natural world. She graduated from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado with a degree in contemplative arts. As she observes the natural world around her, Teresa pays special attention to the negative space between objects. Many of her large-scale oil paintings are now on display across the U.S. and Canada.
Teresa currently lives on a small island in Washington State where she enjoys riding her horse in the woods with her Irish wolfhounds by her side. From her home, she has spectacular views of the magnificent Mount Baker and the Salish Sea.
I ride through island woods on an Arabian mare. Lagoon on left, cathedral trees to the right. Mist rises in a thin veil as if illuminating an alternate world.
A moldery scent of greenery gone by and brilliant red leaves, form patterns on the trail. Colors are intense after a rain. Damp brings out the richest color, like stones, luminous under water. Cedar tree appears green and I see alizarin, gold and blue. There are a thousand shades of green. Sun strikes foliage and light glistens white. Deepest shadows are as dark as raven.
In my studio I recall shapes, colors, lines and form. I remember smells and sounds, memorialize the place with paint. I begin with thin layers of oily warm transparent hues, mutating into thick painterly brush marks. Each layer stamps the recollection of that day’s ride, the pieces unfold in a contemplative manner.
The finished piece is a mosaic of light, weaving and interlacing patterns and color. Like stained glass, they represent the mystery beneath the surface, the layer woven between worlds. I paint this island as sanctuary. A woodland temple and shelter from the storm.
oil on canvas
48 x 60 inches