The last time we were in Provincetown we bought what we considered our first grown-up art. Two large Steve Walker reproductions and a smaller Michael Breyette. This trip, besides hitting Lyman-Eyer Gallery (the dealer for Walker and Breyette artwork) we also checked out many other Ptown galleries to see what else there was to see. I’d say we must have gone through at least a dozen by this afternoon, which really isn’t even half of what Ptown has to offer.
I see definite trends in what I like with paintings. I like realism in people and landscapes. I have an affinity for boats that I can’t really explain. Bold colors in landscapes are also a plus. Whimsical works well if food is depicted. Bursts of bold color also work really well for me if the piece is more abstract. The more color in it, the more I’m apt to like it.
I discovered a couple artists on this trip whose work really struck a cord with me. Michael McGuire does really stunning landscapes using bold, loud colors that play off of each other to create a beautiful, dynamic look. The landscapes aren’t completely realistic in look, but their coloring makes them gorgeous (see above, right for his “Clammer”). On the people side of things there were some great works by Johniene Papandreas which are large scale (some nearly 8 feet tall or wide, depending on the piece) that depict some part of a person. You don’t see the whole person, but what you do see is full of emotion and power with some striking use of color. We would need a much bigger home to display these in because they would completely overwhelm any room in our current apartment.
It was at Lyman-Eyer though where we picked up some more pieces, and discovered a new artist that we both love.
As soon as we walked in the door, I was drawn to a set of work by William Cash which depict men doing various things–fishing by a pond, simply sitting in a chair on the beach, laying naked on cushions in a field of grass, picking a place to travel on a globe, standing by a bicycle looking off into the horizon at dusk (that’s “Night Rider” shown at left). We would have happily bought several of these, but unfortunately the price was too much for us right now. Perhaps some other time. Cash is definitely an artist we’re going to start following because we love what we’ve seen so far.
I also got caught up in paintings from E. Gibbons. Gibbons’ work shows a man, or sometimes two men, doing something inside a box. I bought a small print from a limited reproduction set titled “Kiss,” which is part of his Out of the Closet and Into the Box series. There were some other images I liked as well, particularly one called “Tidy” that depicted a man cleaning the wall of his box (Will found that one kind of odd though).
I picked up another Steve Walker reproduction on canvas. This one is smaller than the ones we bought two years ago, but it fits into the theme of them very nicely. “Lost and Found” could be happening on the same beach as “Rain.” I saw the original of this work in the gallery and it gave me goosebumps so I am happy that a smaller version came home with me.
Will added to our Michael Breyette collection with “Necessary Roughness.” This is one of my favorite Breyette styles, where he shows to guys who clearly love each other just having fun.
Each of the works from these artists demonstrated to me one strong characteristic that moves me. Each of these artists–Walker, Breyette, Cash and Gibbons–while using different styles all depict single, simple, profound and sometimes quite/intimate moments. The work is so full of emotion that it jolts through me. It’s similar to the visceral reaction I have when I’m watching an excellent stage or dance performance.
I’m looking forward to getting these new items onto our walls in the coming weeks (the Breyette needs to be framed and the Walker needs to be stretched). Now that I have more of a sense of what I like too I think it will be easier to find new artists to pay attention to as well.