Press Release

OPENING RECEPTION: 1ST THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2011, FROM 5 - 8PM

Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery is pleased to announce their newest solo show for local artist Nicole Strasburg. NICOLE STRASBURG: islands valleys home, features contemporary Tonalist paintings that depict views of islands--the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, in particular Santa Cruz Island, valleys--both on the islands and the mainland, and home--the California coast. The archipelagos, rolling hillsides, deep valleys, and the vast expanse of the Pacific comprise the artist’s vocabulary of forms. It is through these forms that Strasburg speaks about how she communes with nature.

Strasburg’s interest in the Channel Islands began years ago, but intensified last summer when she embarked on an excursion to Santa Cruz Island. Subsequently, her extended stays gave her an intimate knowledge of the islands’ flora and fauna. Approaching the islands by boat enabled Strasburg to record some of the panoramic views of the island as a whole.

Strasburg recreates the topography of the island and mainland valleys that roll down through the lusher vegetation of the cool canyons and back up again to the sunny, wind swept ridge tops. The paintings incorporate scenes from local hikes and other parts of California that bring the exhibition together into a harmonious celebration of California, familiarity, and a grounded sense of home.

For Strasburg, California has always been home. Growing up, she had a large, loud family so any escape into quiet solitude was relished. She has noted that for her, painting is an exploration into quiet. Looking at the expansive, Tonalist landscapes in her paintings, that quiet is evident in spades. In those quiet moments, Strasburg used painting as a way to connect back to herself. The artist has noted that, “We are small; Earth is vast and amazing. It can be overwhelming and peace filled all at the same time. It always holds my attention.” She strives to capture the “spirit of the place”, to find the “essence of the elements” and translate that through her brush and onto the canvas. 

Video

3:09 | Frank Goss

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