Saturday, June 28, 2008

peter batchelder's new england nuances

We've been friends with The Churchill Gallery in Newburyport, MA for some time now and we wanted to congratulate them on their summer Artwalk which will be held this evening. The Churchill Gallery has some diverse talent in their stable, and it was their recent mailer featuring Old Point by Peter Batchelder that first turned our attention to his unique style.

I'm not sure whether it's the reference to New England scapes, or the inference to solitary (and seemingly uninhabited) buildings, or maybe it's the captivating skies that speaks to our soul. The works are time in motion studies. Everything stays the same year after year, yet not one thing remains the same one moment after another. Skies with unknown weather patterns float effortlessly above studied ground with a hint of wind. The works are almost Amish-y without the spirituality; complexly beautiful in their disciplined simplicity.

Featured above is Batchelder's 2007 oil on canvas North Truro, the 2007 oil on canvas Cottage (offered through Kiley Court Gallery), and my personal favorite - the 2007 oil on canvas Two Cottages. You can see more of Batchelder's work in his upcoming August show at the Redmond Bennett Gallery in Dublin, NH. We love some of Batchelder's works of Martha's Vineyard - it never ceases to amaze me how an image can bring you back to a place.

Batchelder's artist statement says, "I paint subjects that appeal to me from several perspectives. Having grown up in a rural setting, I was surrounded by nature. I still enjoy the solitude of fields and meadows, intrigued by the old architecture that seems to have always been part of the landscape. I am drawn to the way light hits objects, particularly in the early morning or late afternoon. My focus has often been on the landscape without people. Childhood interests in architecture and archaeology have lead me to consider the history of an old barn, or a stone wall, built centuries ago. Lately I have begun to give more consideration to the people who inhabited those scenes, who built those walls and worked in those old barns. I am slowly bringing figures (sometimes animal, sometimes people) back into the landscapes."