Ship to Shore Spotlight

The works on display in the Upper Gallery embody a similar theme, Ship to Shore. Whether it is a nautical still life, a seascape, a salt-water marsh scene, or a summertime landscape, they embody the same motifs through various mediums, colors, sizes and the textures. Gary Davis, Doron Putka, and Don Dalton all thrive within their paintings to find extreme texture without overpowering the tone of their work.

Gary Davis, Golden Sail, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches

“Golden Sail” by Gary Davis is a striking 20 x 20-inch oil painting. Davis wonderfully composes a large sailboat across his canvas, leaving negative space only to the sea and the sky. Shadows overtake the painting, and large brush strokes bring magnificent life to the unsaturated, rough yellow sky and blue ocean, giving the blocks of color life and depth. The sails of the old sailboat demand the attention of the viewer, for the light and dark contrast between the sail’s grains create the illusion of a windy day out on the sea. A lone sailor controls the boat, which is painted mostly with dark shadows, leaving the boat’s journey open for interpretation.

Doron Putka, The First Days In Dimona, oil on linen, 15 x 12 inches

Doron Putka’s oil painting on linen, “The First Days In Dimona,” is a posed family portrait featuring low saturated clothing and a washed out background. The portrait shows three children, two parents, and an elderly woman standing together in harmony in order to capture this moment. Putka uses quick brush strokes to bring texture to the canvas and the strength of the oil paint provides depth with color, creating solid color blocks that are the articles of clothing. The faces on the subjects are vague with little to no detail, allowing one to focus on the entire painting, instead of the viewer determining who the individuals are. By leaving expressions out of the painting, Putka puts emphasis on the body language of her subjects and how the individual family members relate to one another.  

Don Dalton, Downeast Sunrise, watercolor, 14 x 21 inches

The extremely fine detailed watercolor painting, “Downeast Sunrise”, by Don Dalton, perfectly captures a steep face of rocks jutting out from a cliff into ocean water. The morning sunlight is highlighted by the use of light watercolors in the landscape. Faded grays and yellows interact with each other, emphasizing the large rock formations, and showing the wear of the ocean tide and currents. The sunlight’s reflection becomes greater as the viewer looks into the distance, with the strong representation of light controlling the upper left portion of the canvas. Peaceful greens appear in the top right, showing the presence of forest life. The color interaction within Dalton’s watercolor creates an easy, peaceful landscape.

Gary Davis, Doron Putka, and Don Dalton’s works all share a similar tone. The colors used by each artist compliment one another’s works. The low intensity grays found in each painting remind the viewer that he or she is looking at a naturalistic, representational painting - one of many types of paintings found throughout the Upper Gallery. 

By: Erin Shea