"Bold Little Beauty"

Julia Whitney Barnes, Linda Newman Boughton, Sue Bryan, Shawn Dulaney, Susan Hope Fogel and Betsy Weis

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 9th, 5-7pm

April 6, 2022 through June 5, 2022

Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present “Bold Little Beauty”, an exhibit of painting and drawing by gallery artists Julia Whitney Barnes, Linda Newman Boughton, Sue Bryan, Shawn Dulaney, Susan Hope Fogel and photography by Betsy Weis. The exhibit will be on view April 6 – June 5th with an opening reception for the artists on Saturday, April 9th from 5-7pm. All are encouraged and welcome to attend. Masks are optional but recommended.
In her poem “May Flower”, the poet Emily Dickinson uses simple yet powerful language to convey how a small, pink flower, “covert in April, candid in May”, embodies humanity’s relationship with nature and time. With a single line, Dickinson elevates the physical to the symbolic, reminding us that we all have access to spring, new life, beauty, and unity with the natural world since it resides in one’s soul. The final stanza imparts that nature is “bedecked” by such “bold little beauties”; it is made up of tiny different lives, all of which are valuable and beautiful. And yet we are all destined to bloom, fade and die; to perpetuate a cycle that is at once hopeful and tragic. The work of these six artists is the visual manifestation of Dickinson’s sentiment as we consider our relationship with not only the natural world, but also with humanity. These artists are unified by an open-hearted approach to synthesizing their connectedness to nature, all the while exploring its complexities and embracing its simplicities.

Viewing Shawn Dulaney’s paintings could be likened to the experience of taking profoundly deep breaths; slowly inhaling to create an inner expansion followed by the expression of air into the abyss. Dulaney was raised on a plateau in Colorado where she lived under the constant influence of the vast sky. Its uninterrupted horizon and dramatic sunsets have served as continual source material for the abstractions in her work. Using handmade paints consisting of acrylic and powdered pigments, she achieves a wide range of saturations and transparencies on a surface of Venetian plaster. This unique combination creates the perfectly tinted veil through which to enter each painting. For the first time, Dulaney will also exhibit select watercolors alongside her larger paintings. She recalls that watercolor was the first paint she used as a child, and the medium itself feels like atmosphere. The push and pull of the heavier, watery pigments against the lighter ones can create starburst pools she refers to as “little gifts that happen that you can’t plan.” A working artist for over four decades, Dulaney’s paintings have been exhibited widely and can be found in extensive public and private collections including the Hunterdon Museum of Art in New Jersey. Her work has been reviewed in ArtNews, and The New York Times, and featured in Parabola Magazine and New American Paintings.

The smokey silhouette of a landscape rendered in charcoal is how Sue Bryan first commands your attention. A velvety rich, monochromatic palette of tonal greys are captivating from a distance and inviting in proximity. Bryan’s ability to distill the land’s complexities while preserving interest and integrity on a four-inch surface remains unparalleled. In her most recent drawing titled Sprig, 2021, 36 x 48 inches, she leaps onto a much larger surface where she exercises skillful drawing techniques to merge intricate detail with a broader interpretation of light and shadow. Other works are tinged with watercolor, a distinguishing touch that further endows the work with warmth and whimsy. Sue Bryan’s artistic practice repeatedly acknowledges the edges of knowing and celebrates the wonders of the unknown. A native of Ireland, Sue Bryan is primarily a self-taught artist. Her work has been selected for numerous juried exhibitions in the US and abroad, and she currently has representation in France and England. We are delighted to have been exhibiting her drawings in the gallery since 2015.

Susan Hope Fogel describes her paintings in watercolor as “an alternating dance of construction and deconstruction until the form is there, yet not defined in the traditional sense.” Scenes are pieced together, as if from a memory; convening outdoors for a summer evening concert; people-watching in Central Park; long, summer afternoons on the beach. Her work with its many layers of paint, drips, and splatters, achieves a mood that is activated by how she paints the light. Figures are prevalent in Fogel’s landscapes and urban scenes. She enriches these silhouettes with personality and character simply by capturing their posture, pose, shape and size. Fogel studied at The New York Academy of Art, The Art Student’s League, The National Academy of Design, and landscape painting at The Ridgewood Art Institute. The artist lives and works in Warwick, NY.

Julia Whitney Barnes has a uniquely tender treatment of the botanicals that inform her painting. Each composition starts as a blue and white cyanotype on watercolor paper. The ghostly silhouettes of arranged cut flowers, leaves and weeds are transferred to the paper using this camera-less technique, creating the foundation for what is then hand painted using gouache, watercolor, ink, and metallic paints. The composition experiences a sublime transformation in this stage. In her new series of Gold Cyanotype Paintings, a mandala formation emerges, evoking the rare and complex Shaker Gift Drawings of the mid-1800s. Whitney Barnes’ vision follows through to the final presentation with carefully constructed frames that encase these unique paintings, providing an environment for where they may exist akin to a specimen at a natural history museum. Julia Whitney Barnes is working towards “Planting Utopia” a three part site-specific exhibition opening this summer at the Shaker Heritage Site and the Albany International Airport. The show will be accompanied by a book to be released in August.

Some might struggle to associate impressionist painting and drawing with a ballpoint pen medium, but one of Linda Newman Boughton’s opulent landscape drawings in signature blue ink is a masterclass in the art of immediacy and movement. From a wild and tangled web of lines emerges identifiable forms, such as a complex root system or a bushy canopy of leaves. The work itself feels kinetic; millions of mark makings vibrate with an energy that stems from a sacred connection to nature. In recent months, Boughton has shifted to a larger scale by which to take an even deeper dive into this vast world of connectivity. This exhibit will present two drawings that are her largest landscapes to date; compositions that balance the density of detail with lightness of space. A self-taught artist, Boughton has worked as the head of scenic departments in the film and television industry in Los Angeles and has been represented by the gallery since 2015.

Betsy Weis has a distinct way of photographing that says as much about what is right in front of her as what is excluded from the frame. She is guided by weather, light and mood to discover moments and perspectives of transience. A resident of New York City, Weis travels extensively to leave the city grid and bask in nature. During the pandemic, her mobility was restricted and like so many of us, she turned to local pursuits. Her terrace and the stationery potted plants became a renewed source of interest and soon became subjects. This exhibit will include expansive images in black and white of leaves gently suspended in an open sky, suggestive that we are looking up from below where we stand in a concrete Arcadia. Betsy Weis received her MA in Painting from New York University and has been exhibiting with the gallery since 1997!

Betsy Weis (Photography)

Julia Whitney Barnes

Linda Newman Boughton

Shawn Dulaney

Sue Bryan

Susan Hope Fogel