Artist on the brink
BRECKENRIDGE – It’s always a joy to be invited to a preview at Clint’s.
For one thing, Clint’s manager and hostess Laura Komeshian sets out great refreshments and wine.
Interesting people are always in attendance, and occasionally the exhibited work actually inspires.
Such is the case with the current exhibition. Young artist Beth Jolicoeur (literally French for “pretty heart”) demonstrates talent as well as great promise. Painting in oils, acrylics or watercolor, her work is diverse in both subject matter and technique.
The most successful pieces shown occupy the front half of the coffee house, albeit there are some interesting works in the rear of the establishment.
One of these, “Yellow Abstraction,” is among my favorites. As with most of her pictures, this one is little more than 2 feet by 2 feet, but there is so much going on.
Jolicoeur admitted to creating it as a school assignment, but it typifies her willingness to push the paint around, experiment with mixed media and take risks.
The autumn colors at first suggest the painting is an abstraction of fall leaves. On closer inspection, it draws the viewer in to the splashes, drizzles and drips that are reminiscent of early Jackson Pollack.
Equally impressive are her acrylic on canvas paintings of fish. These wonderfully composed images are similar in perspective to stylized Japanese paintings and drawings of carp. In fact, one of her largest paintings to date, not on view at Clint’s, is “Koi,” a mural commissioned by South Ridge Seafood Grill in Breckenridge.
The palette she sometimes chooses is not always one of many colors.
In fact, a very successful piece is “Blue Abstraction,” which is predominantly blue and white and has surprising depth, partly the result of a heavy laying down of pigment and applied paper.
Originally trained as a graphic artist, her less literal interpretations provide the most unique imagery and are what gives her work significance.
Her watercolor landscapes, though acceptable renditions, do not have the personality or individuality of her abstracts.
There is a painting of butterflies, “Monarch Migration,” that is very interesting in its treatment of the insect’s wing pattern, where Jolicoeur morphs and blends its intricacies with the background in a way that is both pleasing and provocative.
Of her watercolors, “Thoughts” is allegorical, yet the almost hidden figure in the lower right is blended into a background that seems to explode much the way the earth might have done during the upheavals of early development.
The Jolicoeur show runs through January, so make it a point to get over to Clint’s, and you might just walk away with a painting of an artist on the brink of fame.
Stew Mosberg is a writer and journalist working out of Blue River. He holds a bachelor of design degree from the University of Florida, College of Fine Arts and Architecture, is the author of two books on design and is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He can be reached at wrtrF@aol.com.
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