Fountain Street Fine Art
59 Fountain Street
October 11 through November 4
A grid of small, photo-transfer canvases in progress on the studio wall dance with botanical ghost marks, both hidden and revealed under layers of acrylic and gel medium. While preparing for her October show with venerable landscape painter James Wilson Rayen, Fountain Street Fine Art (FSFA) gallery co-director Cheryl Clinton simultaneously tends her crop of small works destined for the cooperative gallery’s first annual “CSArt” this fall. Shorthand for “Community Supported Art,” CSArt functions much as the “CSA” (Community Supported Agriculture) does in the farmers’ marketplace, where a limited number of advance shares are sold to raise “seed money” for a crop. At harvest time, shareholders receive equal portions; in FSFA’s case, one original work each by six participating local artists.
Much like farming, CSArt requires many hours of hands-on labor for the participating artists, who have each committed 30 original, signed works to the yield. According to Clinton, the methodical process involved in tending her energetic small works balances well with the slow-cooked, heavily layered canvases she has slated for “The Balance Between,” her double billing with Rayen.
For the show, Clinton pulls from her
“Woodland Series,” an abstracted exploration of landscape inspired by the motion of light on water, transparency and reflective surfaces. Bodies of water loom large in Clinton’s oeuvre — her early paintings isolated a slice of water, often seashore, with no horizon line. Her newer works are memory- based and woodsy — glimpses from the peripheral vision of a busy gallery owner/artist/mother shuttling between her Framingham studio building and Boylston home.
Rendered in a simple, organic palette of forest green, sky blue and sand, there is a floating, slippery quality to the compositions. No hard surfaces here — in Clinton’s toolkit you’ll find only vegetation, water and vapor. Light activates pigment particles frozen within the strata, “animating without being digital,” explains Clinton. “You have what is happening on the surface at the same time as what is beneath, and in between. Maybe because I’m reaching the middle [of life] the work is a way of looking back and forward” at once.