Telluride Gallery: Gomez & Hutchison, Talk 9/20

Telluride Gallery: Gomez & Hutchison, Talk 9/20

The Telluride Gallery of Fine Art hosts a special community event, “Telluride Seasons,” on Thursday, September 20, 4-7 p.m. featuring long-time local painters, Bruce Gomez and Julee Hutchison, with both artists on hand.

Gomez,  Trout Lake

They are two peas, principally landscape painters, in the same pod, namely, the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, now owned by Ashley Hayward and Michael Goldberg, however, Bruce Gomez was the very first artist  the gallery’s original owners, the Thompsons, signed for their stable when they opened on Main Street (130 East Colorado) back in 1985.

Gomez Landscape

Over the years, the Telluride Gallery has featured some of the best pastel artists in the world: Albert Handell, Ramon Kelly, Sally Strand, Carole Katchen, Deborah Bays, among them. Gomez’s style, however, is distinctive: He is a realist: what you see is generally what you get – and his signature shimmering surfaces are certainly enough to please the eye. However, squint and Gomez’s lush, layered pastels become a complex tapestry of abstract passages – parts of the sky, sections of mountains and water – with an Abstract Expressionist feel that, in the end, amount to gorgeous studies of color and light.

Gomez, Landscape Pathway

Entirely self-taught in the medium, Gomez has worked with pastels for about three decades. The creative process for the artist begins with a photograph. Next he plots the principle elements of the composition from photograph to paper, which he treats with sandpaper to create his velour surfaces. Gomez’ subject matter comes primarily from his travels throughout the western U.S., France, Italy, and England. He tends to feature Telluride, but also Moab, the Grand Canyon, Wyoming, Paris, Provence, and Tuscany.

Hutchison, Evening Reveal

Gomez paints and teaches out of his Denver studio. He, like Hutchison, regularly leads classes at Telluride’s Ah Haa School for the Arts,

For painter Julee Hutchison, the outdoors is a place of spiritual revery. Her paintings, however, do not tremble with religiosity, rather, they speak volumes about the complex nature of art about Nature in a very quiet, but very direct way: some images are playful; others, more introspective. Hudson River master George Inness famously said, “You must suggest to me reality. You can never show me reality.”

Hutchison to a “T.”

Hutchison, McKenzie Draw

Her impressionistic landscapes are postcards from the interior, reflecting not a landscape per se, but her attitude towards a particular landscape. Hutchison’s particular gift lies in an unerring ability to mold her passion for her surroundings into a reflection of private feelings and sensations, at their best – and her new images qualify – a synthesis of direct observation, memory and fantasy.

Hutchison is clearly partial to the Telluride area’s sweeping vistas, with valleys leading up to majestic mountains, crowned in sculptural clouds, and flashes of light on long, lonely roads light her fire.

Hutchison, Autumn Spectacular

In Hutchison’s world, snow, for example, is an exciting vehicle the artist uses to describe the many shades of white: in shade, white reads lavender, blue and violet. In direct sun, whiteness shimmers in yellows and pinks. Aspen groves provide wonderful excuses to explore the effects of warm and cool light.

Add it all up and Gomez and Hutchison’s “Telluride Seasons” becomes a tour de force of preternatural color and persistent light, subtle brushstrokes provide an internal architecture while yielding to color, and compositions that hover deliciously between representation and abstraction, object and image.

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