In the new edition of Plumage-TX Magazine, JR Mooney Galleries Art Consultant, Katherine Shevchenko gives us some professional critical analysis on a few spotlight paintings in Cliff Cavin's exhibition, "Light" at J.R. Mooney Galleries-Boerne.
Cliff Cavin’s retrospective, “Light” was curated around the theme of exploring the landscapes done over the course of his career featuring the element of light and how it affects the landscape though his eyes. Not only does light reveal, in its absence it can also unveil another layer of topographic poetry that goes unnoticed at a first casual glance. Cavin, in his painting compositions captures and embodies interludes of light and dark in his brush strokes on the natural surfaces of the land; recorded from his journeys.
Shadows embodies Cliff Cavin’s ability to paint the landscape of New Mexico in a robust interpretation that is expressed through vibrant brush work and a saturated color palette. The bluish shadows cast by the shrubs are vibrating complementary against the chartreuse shrubs. Painterly imprints directionally lead the eye, weaving in and out of the vegetation guiding the eye throughout the painting.
The rocky dessert ground is rendered in subtle blue tones-emphasizing the coolness of the shadows that are cast on the curving paths. Where the light is strongest, the tops of the shrubs are illuminated in lime green highlights and in golden tones of yellows. The distant hyacinthine mountains are in chromatic unity with the rest of the composition, dominating majestically in the background. One of the intriguing facets of this painting is the aliveness seen in the brush strokes, creating motion throughout the paths, implying a sense of life that is omnipresent throughout this vista.
Morning Light is a stunning example of Cavin’s approach to landscape painting that captures the evidence of light and its various effects on the features of the environment. As the sun strikes the New Mexican desert mercilessly, there is an immense stillness, a proclamation of the grandeur of the scale of this endless scenery. The cast shadows stretch out across the sun scorched terrain in the nascence of the day. The earthen tones of the desert reds are pushed forward against the pale blue sky, a backdrop to the drama of shadows intermingling with the glowing orange red rock formations.
The extremes between the light and darks contrast to a high degree in the desert visually, prompting Cavin to document what he sees through the language of painting, preserving the memory inspired by the view as he stood before it in that moment in time.
© Katherine Shevchenko, Art Consultant,
J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art, Boerne, TX