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    Art We Love & Why – Land

    Rachel Cassiani Surf Break
    July 1, 2021

    Art We Love & Why – Land

    It’s a given that each of us sees the world a little bit differently than the person next to us. Some of us register every detail of the scenery and others see the broadest outlines. Artists have been inspired by the landscape for thousands of years, creating works of infinite variety with every imaginable media. The pieces here are just a sampling of the many ways that Provincetown artists see the world today.

    Brent Refsland, Golden Hour (used sandpaper on paper, 11” x 14”), Room 68

    Brent Refsland Golden Hour

    We’ve all experienced this moment, when the fiery ball of the sun has dropped below the horizon and the sky is ablaze with the afterglow. But how many of us have imagined capturing it with sandpaper?  And who knew that sandpaper came in so many colors? Beyond the novelty of it, Brent Refsland has deployed this medium with skill and to great effect. The tiny gaps between the collaged paper become the tips of whitecaps on the water and the white-hot edges of clouds picked out by the last rays of the sun. A truly original take on an age-old scene.

    Rachel Cassiani, Surf Break (oil on canvas, 24″ x 48″), Outermost

    Rachel Cassiani Surf Break

    Simplicity – it’s a seductive and often elusive goal in our overcrowded lives. In art as in life, the challenge is to figure out how to distill our world down to its essential elements. Rachel Cassiani has it figured out. This painting is composed of crisply defined shapes that don’t tell us a thing about a landscape on their own, but together create a sweeping, elegant vista of sea and sky and sand. Her palate, though limited, hits all the right notes. And as impressive as this dynamic take on the landscape is, maybe more impressive is that the artist is self-taught.

    Nicholas Peterson-Davis, Truro Scene (oil on canvas, 16” x 20”), Stewart Clifford Gallery

    Peterson-Davis Truro Scene

    The choices an artist faces when setting up a blank canvas in the open air are staggering. Like the author facing a blank laptop screen, a painter could spend hours contemplating and maybe sketching, or just dive in. That’s what I love about this painting – its courage. There’s an energy and a confidence in the way that the artist has wielded a palate knife to lay down thick strokes of paint. The sky comes racing toward us and the landscape has been perfectly captured with quick strokes of the knife. Makes you wonder what Hemingway would have been like as a painter.

    Liz Carney, Wide Cradle (oil on panel, 12” x 24”), 411 Gallery

    Liz Carney Wide Cradle

    An artist’s eye edits and frames the view everywhere it goes. Here Liz Carney has given us a close-up, choosing to zoom in on the heavy beams of a boat cradle. Another artist might have been tempted to push the eye past this utilitarian structure to focus on the glistening bay or the distant pier. But Carney employs the strong diagonals of the beams and a vibrant palate to create a powerful composition. Almost abstract, yet still capturing the light and salty air of this waterfront world.

    George Rogers is an artist and ceramicist. After a career in museums including the MFA in Boston and the Smithsonian, he and his husband moved to Provincetown full time four years ago.

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