Art of infinite variety: news from Ellen Delaney and Marcos Smyth

Ellen Delaney, “Cedar Rapids,”
acrylic mixed media, 17″ x 17″

Landscape painting is an art of infinite variety—as Ellen Delaney can attest. Through March 29, 2014, you can see her work in “Common Ground,” an exhibition of work by four contemporary landscape painters at Lark & Key Gallery and Boutique in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Delaney has worked as an architect for 25 years, and her rich understanding of graphics and design clearly informs her painting. Her business travels in Iowa inspired a fascination with rural landscapes, driving her to capture what she calls “the feeling of a place rather than an accurate recreation.”

Using  photographs as a starting point, Delaney uses a palette knife rather than brushes to create gorgeous depictions of land and light, inserting man-made structures and shapes that serve as eye-catching contrasts with nature. “My intention,” she says, “is to abstract what I see into simpler forms.”

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“Living in an area of limited resources, in the interior of Brazil, I was deeply affected by local ingenuity,” says sculptor Marcos Smyth, recalling his childhood. “People used natural resources and recycling to create needed items. Their creative use of these materials exposed me to an artful experience.”

That resourceful sensibility has served Smyth well: His work Gaiola was recently selected for inclusion in the Washington Project for the Arts’ 33rd annual art auction, exhibition, and gala.

“Gaiola is Portuguese for ‘cage,'” the artist explains. “In Brazil, where I grew up, many of my friends made their own cages for birds they raised. This is a stylized homage to their craft made of brass, wood, and plastic.” Gaiola will be included in the exhibition, while two of Smyth’s other creations will appear alongside it in the final auction.

The WPA exhibition will be held from February 27 through March 21, 2014, at Artisphere on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia, with the gala and auction following on Saturday, March 22, 2014, at 7 p.m. If you’d like to support contemporary art in the Washington area, learn more about this terrific event—and keep an eye out for Smyth and his work!

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