Seattle based artist Claire Johnson and Canadian artist Brad Woodfin each portray their own take on natural beauty with realistic detail. While Johnson overpowers her canvases with largescale aerial landscapes, Woodfin’s animal subjects are mysteriously bereft of their environment. Opening tonight, the two artists will debut their new works together at Roq la Rue Gallery in Seattle. Brad Woodfin thinks of his oil paintings as metaphors. His art expands on the belief that everything in life is always shrinking or growing. As an artist who shares qualities with Dutch master painting, it might surprise some to know that he is inspired by the likes of Abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. Rothko’s influence can be found in Woodfin’s minimal compositions, where animals seem to appear out of black voids. His new paintings portray animals like nautiliuses and colorful birds that rise from darkness before shrinking back into it.
For her exhibition, “Drift”, Claire Johnson also points to aspects of nature that may not seem obvious to us at first. Using a combination of oil and watercolor, she elaborates on formations like Mount Hood in Oregon and the low foothills of the Rockies. Her meticulously detailed paintings are linked together by their natural crevices and rugged terrain. This linkage is inspired by a branching phenomenon that takes place in nature, as in the branching of trees and blood vessels in our bodies. While her snow-drift filled mountainscapes may feel far away and somehow otherworldly, to Johnson, we are closely connected to them.
New works by Brad Woodfin and Claire Johnson are currently on view at Roq la Rue Gallery in Seattle through September 26th.