“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape—the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”
The arrival of winter occasioned a National Public Radio (NPR) rhapsody about the special bond between artists and the season entitled “These Artists Will Change Your Mind About Winter.”
Winter may mean hibernating on the couch under a blanket for some who loathe cold and snow. Those who love skiing, skating, snowshoeing and hiking embrace the frozen outdoors—but the true connoisseurs of the winter landscape are artists.
As Wyeth indicates, the minimalism of winter is deceiving as less is definitely more when it comes to painting the inner narratives of landscapes that may be barren compared to other seasons but are rich in metaphor as they inspire memories of childhoods lived outside. The pale light, which pulses orange at sunrise and blushes the clouds pink and purple at sunset, “paints” the snow with blue and lavender shadows in scenes that tug at our emotions and send our minds on journeys of reflection and discovery.
Gregory James Gallery is home to works by two of the region’s finest landscape painters, Thomas Adkins of Southbury and Jim Laurino of Burlington, who love painting winter scenes. (Scroll down for the lists of additional currently available works.)
They paint en plein air, sometimes together, in locations longtime residents recognize and those who arrived more recently will come to know and cherish—places like Lake Waramaug, the Tapping Reeve Law School in Litchfield, New Milford center, and the farms and fields of Bethlehem, Woodbury and beyond.
“My goal is to capture that fleeting moment in time when atmospheric conditions and lighting, along with the natural design in nature, seem to bring a bit of magic to the landscape,” Adkins has said. “It has an effect on me and that’s what I try to share with people.”
Laurino paints in a bold representational style, producing evocative scenes of rivers, lakes, seascapes, woodlands, farms, historic buildings, and other iconic scenes in the Northeast. His robust brushstrokes form a meditative exaltation of form and texture, with individual brushstrokes pushed toward abstraction before coalescing to masterfully depict the transformative effect of light on landscapes and seascapes.
“I love the extremes in a painting, the dark darks and light lights, so I do work toward that,” Laurino has said. “I tend to paint darks first and apply lights on the focal point last—last, or close to last. I don’t like working too small. I like a lot of inference, and you lose some of that when you tighten it up.”
Gregory James Gallery is welcoming visitors individually or in small groups and observes COVID-safe precautions and protocols. To purchase paintings or for more information, call the gallery at (860) 354-3436, or see the website at gregoryjamesgallery.com. Follow the gallery on Facebook and on Instagram.
Additional Thomas Adkins winter landscapes at Gregory James Gallery:
Late February Lake Waramaug, 11×14, $1,400
Winter Cedar, 24×24, $4,500
First Snow, 20×30, $4,500
Platt Farm Winter Dusting, 10×20, $2,200
Additional Jim Laurino winter landscapes at Gregory James Gallery:
House on Chestnut, 9×9, $500
Maple tree near the tractor path entrance, 12×16, $1100
Elm Street – New Milford, 22×24, $3200
Oak Island, 12×14, $850