You practically smell it before you see it. The fragrance of a field of lavender and wildflowers bursting into bloom. The buds rustle as they rub together in the wind. The bees hum their way between florets. The smell, the sounds, the sights. Lois Gold’s Sunlit Field III draws us off the main road and into a simple but richly imagined landscape.
What power the artist wields to activate all of our senses through a visual depiction in two dimensions! Gold leverages impressionism—an artistic style that relies on the viewer’s imagination to convert suggestive flecks of pigment into mental images. She achieves this with minute brushstrokes, hinting at the variable reflection of light off the varicolored petals and pistils. The layered textures are put to work too, conveying solidity, movement, verdancy. Whatever she needs to achieve her aim. Once excited, the mind continues to stimulate the full range of sensations. Here she has leveraged exceptional technique to evoke the full impact of a walk through nature—the quintessential studio available to all artists.
Walk with me into this field of colors. The light purples pronounce the arrival of spring. Hints of pink and pallid yellow punctuating the scene.
Notice first the dramatic composition. Start with the high horizon line—roughly seven-eighths of the way from the base. The message here is simple: focus on the flora. Above the horizon, the flatter and hazier application of color is powerful enough to illuminate the sky and, indirectly, give the foreground colors even more brilliance. This is a bold unconventional approach, and it is rendered unapologetically. Don’t we all like to break rules at times? But don’t dwell on this part of the canvas. This is not a statement about the weather, the climate; not a study of clouds or atmospheric phenomena. Even the color selection—a practically unnatural yellow in a painting otherwise faithful to the sensibilities of nature’s palette—points us in another direction: focus on the flora.
The light blue strip that defines the horizon gives us a general sense of place. We are near a sizable body of war. Still. Distant. But clear and fixed over this space—literally—bearing its own influence. It ensures life-giving moisture to the foreground. The distant watery expanse helps frame this perspective for us. We needn’t concern ourselves with this feature of local geography. We are not asked to imagine a bustling waterway of commerce, a tributary for the ecosystem, or even an idyllic setting for waterfowl. The artist simply gives us a feature to serve as a boundary for our attention. You needn’t look beyond the horizon. The distance, on this day, holds no interest for us.
A traveler wishing to reach the Sound, must first cross that meadow. But that grassy strip is not a part of our journey, we are merely pausing for the view. The vague greenness of grassland is, for us, simply a buffer to separate the water from the field of flowers.
Our main interest, and the object of attention in this view, is the buoyant bloomage bursting out at us in the bottom of the frame. The impressionistic flowers are rendered tastefully, with specks of red, orange, yellow, and pink. Gold puts her whole palette to work here. The heavy texture highlights the everythingness of the flowers. The look, the feel, the smell, even the sounds. We pause along our way and study this magical wildflower garden, lit by that unseen sun. Look again and you see more details. Look harder and they disappear. This is the magic of impressionism. Not only that…this is the true beauty of art. It draws you in, and you want to stay and you want to come back.
What is happening here? Lois Gold’s treatment of nature draws us not only into the painting but into our past. The impression strikes deep and evokes poignant memories. It draws me back to summer camp along the shore of a lake outside the city. Those weeks were a respite from the hard cold brick and metropolitan stone with it tones of gray and black. What a contrast I found out here, beyond the farthest suburbs. The blazing sky, harshly yellow in my memory. The flat line of the water in the distance…rough on stormy evenings but still in the blazing summer heat of the afternoons. Other viewers will dip into their own memories, for those times when the exuberance of nature seized us and set us back in balance with the world. I find it hard to find time for those equilibrating moments nowadays. They come a little easier through the products on Gold’s easel. This one, of the sunlit field, draws me in and takes me back.
“Look at the flowers. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.” - Osho
Lois Gold graciously invites us into her dreamworld via the stunning painting “Blue Landscape.” This highly textured impressionistic painting of a beautiful field in eastern Long Island reminded me of an observation attributed to Virginia Woolf: “the blue seems eternal.” Myriad shades of blue and purple contribute to the elegance of this piece. The artist tastefully uses heavy texture and glass-beaded gel to accentuate the brilliance of the flowers and light up the piece. The sky blends in with the foreground and makes you feel like you are standing inside the picture, surrounded by its beauty and serenity. I find this piece very therapeutic. Just looking at it gives me a surge of serenity. Nature is beautiful, with its flowers, trees, clouds, and sunsets. All we need is to open our eyes and see!