‘Henry Isaacs: Paintings of Maine and Vermont’
Gleason Fine Art begins the month of July with a show of new Henry Isaacs paintings. "Henry Isaacs: Paintings of Maine and Vermont" opens Friday, July 7, and runs through Aug. 15, with a reception for Henry on July 7 from 5 to 7 pm.
Isaacs paints with energy, exuberance, and self-assurance. His broken brushwork and palette of luscious blues, greens, yellows, and pinks mark him as one of the most recognizable artists painting in New England today. Close friend, former Portland arts writer Dan Kany, describes Isaacs' work thus: "Isaacs style is clear and bold. He is an extraordinary colorist. Consider a typical Isaacs painting. It looks something like what you might get if Matisse tried to copy a Van Gogh garden scene using a pastel fauvist palette."
Isaacs has painted in nearly every state of the United States and in many parts of the world--Europe, the Caribbean, South America, and Africa. He is probably best known for undertaking two grueling but life-defining treks to Nepal to make studies for a series of commissions depicting the Himalayas, a subject he continues to return to upon request.
For "Paintings of Maine and Vermont," Isaacs stayed closer to home, choosing to work in the two states closest to his heart. For his Maine paintings, Isaacs focused on the midcoast and the Portland area. In "Windy April Day, Boothbay Harbor," Isaacs captures a beautiful, sunny spring day, with wind-whipped clouds and seas and a historic, partially completed footbridge. In "Sailing off the Eastern Prom," Isaacs paints a brilliantly sunny summer day with a flock of sailboats racing across Portland Harbor.
For his Vermont series, Isaacs also chooses watery subjects: the ponds, lakes, and waterfalls of central Vermont near his cottage in Sharon. The dazzling foreground of "Pond at Sharon," painted in fiery oranges, yellows, and pinks, is in sharp contrast to the lush, dappled coolness of the pond and deep woods beyond. In "Cascades, Winooski River," a glistening, white falls emerges from a green wood to splash below in an explosion of yellows, magentas, and pinks.
Isaacs always brings lots of color to the party. In his own words: "I usually work slowly, building from a general composition lightly defined by line, adding the darkest darks and the brightest highlights, painting these darker and brighter than anything possible. I think of light as a very tangible presence in my view of places; the objects that inhabit the composition receive and hold this light in values relative to each other."
Gleason Fine Art, 31 Townsend Avenue, Boothbay Harbor. Summer gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m; and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Call Gleason Fine Art at 207-633-6849; email the gallery at email@example.com; or check out Henry Isaacs' show on the gallery website, gleasonfinart.com.