Like Card, Johnson doesn’t stay chained to any one strict format or genre. She likes to play with her ideas and let her subjects dictate where to go. There’s a pleasant familiarity in her work, even when she branches into new places—and it’s work that should definitely be seen in person, to give the true scope of how well she balances fundamentals such as texture and light.
Another local artist (who tackled a subject out of our region) is Suzanne Rynders, an artist who is relatively new to me. Her piece in the exhibit is Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, a colorful landscape that feels playful and evocative. Rynders doesn’t shy away from bold pops of color to create a portrait of a landmark that’s increased in popularity over recent years.
I especially loved the way she parked her setting in bright daylight, allowing the intensity of the whites to glow in the piece. It’s a work of art that feels casual but has more moving parts within the palette and composition than is immediately detectable.
Rynders’ other piece is Dolphins Leaping, another acrylic painting that gives a good insight into her restraint as a painter. Rynders is skilled at creating shapes and letting the brain fill in the rest of the story, while focusing on playing with shadows and color gradients.
While all of the artists have unique points of view and styles, everything feels uniformly Californian (there are hints of the original California Scene Painters in almost every inch of canvas). But they speak specifically to the Central Coast; these are local artists putting their special stamp on culture, scenery, and the lifestyle specific zip code.
The exhibit is free and open to the public at the airport, which is a great place to see paintings and other artwork by some of the region’s top artists. Free public art is increasingly difficult to come by in certain regions, and no one should miss the chance to experience it while they can.