“International Attraction” is the fourth two-person show that Frank Balaam and Angus Wilson (known as ‘Angus’) share at Ventana Fine Art.
This exhibit of vibrant landscapes and still life paintings by two former residents of the U.K. (Balaam is from England, while Angus is from Scotland) opens on May 19.
Angus, who has lived in the U.S. for the past 10 years, displays his colorful acrylic still life paintings. “I often buy bouquets of flowers at a grocery store and do multiple set-ups that I photograph,” he explains.
“I like to use photos for reference so I don’t literally paint what I see in front of me. My paintings are a balance of creativity and imagination.”
While some viewers link Angus’ expressive oeuvre to Gauguin, Cézanne and Matisse, Angus has developed his own clearly defined contemporary style.
”When people view my work they are struck by the bold strokes and strong use of color,” he adds. “Certainly, my first response is to color and light. Then I search for ways to enhance this response.”
Trees and forests have been captivating Balaam, who lives in a small mountain town in eastern Arizona, since 2005.
“It wasn’t a conscious choice for me to begin painting trees,” explains Balaam in his artist statement. “Only in retrospect have I been able to explain my total immersion in the forest and the imagery of trees.”
“Perhaps it was the recollection of the forest’s stoic acceptance of the all-consuming fire that I witnessed in 2002 while on a plein air painting trip on the Mogollon Rim,” he adds. “I unexpectedly saw the horror of the Rodeo and Chedeski fires merging and tearing through vast forests. Since then, painting forests has been a form of self-reflection and a way for me to reconnect with the world.”