The Rogue Gallery & Art Center will showcase four artists with different approaches to the time-honored genre of landscape painting during Third Friday's downtown art walk.
"American Views: Emerging Landscapes" features the work of Susan DeRosa of Jacksonville, Lucy Warnick of Medford, Margaret Prentice of Eugene and Margaret Coe of Springfield through June 16.
An opening reception for the exhibit will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 19, when downtown galleries stay open into the evening hours to welcome visitors. Harp player Mary Vannice will perform, and wine, Rogue Creamery cheese and Harry and David snacks will be served at the gallery, 40 S. Bartlett St.
"I'm really honored and thrilled to be showing with Lucy and the two Margarets," DeRosa says. "We're all different in our approach to painting. We complement each other."
The four friends are members of various art groups that focus on outdoor painting.
DeRosa's small-scale paintings exquisitely capture scenes that range from sun-dappled trees casting lavender shadows on a winding country road to aging farm buildings.
Although she has often done large paintings during her lifelong career as an artist and art teacher, DeRosa says she prefers diminutive sizes while working outdoors.
"When you work large, it's more cumbersome to paint outdoors. I feel like I don't have the control," she says.
Although her paintings are small for practical reasons, their size invites viewers to take a step closer to view her masterful painting technique and the mix of realism and impressionism she brings to her work. DeRosa was classically trained to draw and paint the figure, and that rigorous background in draftsmanship and painting technique shows through in her accurately rendered, luminous pieces.
Prentice's paintings range from medium-sized to panoramic, often capturing dramatic contrasts of sunlight with the darkness of advancing storms.
In "Storm Approaching," tall, yellow grass glows in the foreground as dark clouds creep forward over foothills that have fallen into deep shadow.
The tension breaks in "Storm Cloud in the Adirondacks," with a torrent of rain falling in a column onto the mountains.
While DeRosa and Prentice have a more controlled, realistic style, Warnick and Coe lean more toward abstraction.
"I like to paint on location primarily," Warnick says. "I'm more interested in getting the movement of nature than in photographic reality. I'm happy about the show because it includes places that are closest to my heart."
In "Ashland Hills," Warnick recorded the dry, sun-baked, late-summer foothills of Ashland in paint as she worked outdoors. She later added touches of magenta and vermilion in her studio.
"I painted the basics in acrylic while I was there, then took it home and heightened the color with additions in oil. I wanted it to be juicier," she says.
Warnick notes artists have to be careful when it comes to retouching a painting in the studio that was first done "en plein-air."
"You have to know how to activate it without repainting the whole thing and killing it," she says.
Once during a group outing, a fellow artist hid one of Warnick's paintings in a car trunk because he believed it was complete as it was. Warnick had planned to add finishing touches.
"The artist community can really give you guidance and inspiration when you see what other people do and hear what other people say about your own work," she says.
Warnick says she loves to paint iconic Rogue Valley landmarks, including the Table Rocks and Ti'lomikh Falls outside Gold Hill, historic site of Native American salmon ceremonies that honored the return of the ocean-going fish.
For her part, Coe often draws inspiration for her landscape paintings from scenes right outside her windows. Images range from snow remnants in the woods to buildings peeking through trees.
In the Rogue Gallery's smaller Community Gallery space, Tom Glassman of Medford will show an exhibit of his photography, "Patterns and Proximity." Call 541-772-8118 or see roguegallery.org for information.
Art du Jour gallery, located at 213 E. Main St., will continue its exhibit "Joy of iPhoneography" by Talent photographer and printmaker Meri Aaron Walker. She uses apps on her mobile devices to manipulate her photographs. The various effects can lead to art that resembles an impressionist painting of flowers or a collage cut from old master paintings.
An exhibit of floral art, "Showers of Flowers," by members of Art du Jour will continue through May.
Call 541-770-3190 or see artdujourgallery.com. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.