Seeing Green: Spring Fever
There’s nothing like a mid-February thaw, followed by snow emergencies and the quasi-mythological “thunder snow,” to make us weather-obsessed Minnesotans start lusting after springtime. A simple perusal of the mnartists.org calendar allows for the possibility of seeing green again…
I admit that, once in a while, I really love seeing—dare I say it—more traditional art. And, there’s nothing I find lovelier than peonies. Therefore I was elated to learn that on March 4th, Groveland Gallery is opening a solo exhibition of Minneapolis artist Charles Lyon’s recent work. The press release featured two oil paintings detailing delicate and fluffy peonies. Highlighting the utter beauty of spring in all her glory, such fluttering petal-focused pieces will be shown in tandem with works depicting winter snowdrifts. Lyon is all about realism as he comes from a photography background and seeks to further his imagery of the natural world with luminous layers of translucent oil paint. Pulling the cold snow and fresh blooms together, Lyon explains the nature of the show’s title “Transience”: “the lives of flowers and piles of snow are quick and fleeting. Their history is similar to that of fire – consuming itself while burning itself out.” One can only hope this late February snow-dump is just as ephemeral. Lyon will be present at the opening reception on Friday, March 4 from 5-8 p.m. and the show will run through April 9, 2011.
While some of you may be thinking this representational painting of nature in all its momentary beauty is for the birds, I bring you my next spring-inspired calendar item, which is literally “For the Birds.” Is there nothing so refreshing as waking to the sound of chirping spring birds for the first time after a winter of waking only to the crunch and scrape of snowplows in the alley? The people at Stillwater Art Guild Gallery understand the splendor and intrigue of these feathered creatures and are featuring bird art throughout the month of March. This multi-artist show includes over 25 artists working in all media. And for all you budding ornithologists out there, there’s even a Creative Birdhouse Contest and Live Falcon Demonstration during the show’s Gala evening event on Friday, March 11 from 5-9 pm, which of course coincides with Stillwater’s Fine Art Walk. Nothing like these winged bearers of springtime to remind us all that we too should be so lucky as to fly south for the winter. Maybe next year?
Not into feathers? Can’t get enough green during this liminal month of grey? Finally, I present the wonderful Silverwood Park’s solution: Botanical Illustration: Leaves & Greens, a class for any spring-lover seeking to explore nature’s most prominent color (when it’s not winter anyway), green. This class promises to promote observation techniques and improve your skills in leaf drawing and watercolor painting. The class will be held at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony on Saturdays from 9:30a.m to noon, March 5 – April 9, 2011. Who doesn’t want to know more about leaf morphology, or the important characteristics of botanical painting? My interest has been piqued and I just can’t wait for spring.
While March is often toted as the snowiest month of the year, we have peonies, birds, botanical greenery, and our own weather-obsessed optimism (who else wears shorts as soon at it reaches a mere 45 degrees?) to help us through to the spring light at end of the snow-covered tunnel.