Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to introduce new Texas-inspired paintings by Maine-based artist Greta Van Campen in her solo exhibition, 'Seeing Texas'. Greta Van Campen’s paintings explore both the urban and rural American landscape in a distilled and geometric fashion. Viewing Van Campen’s work is a tranquil experience as the landscape or locale is broken down into understandable terms to reveal the artist’s fascination with a place. The show will run from January 5th through 30th, with an opening reception on Friday, January 8th from 6pm - 8pm. The artist will be in attendance for the reception.
After analyzing her snapshots and sketches of a scene and pairing it down to the essentials, Van Campen initiates her compositions with flat planes of color. Successive layers of acrylic paint are applied, followed by the artist masking off small areas for added detail. Van Campen’s work “inhabit[s] the space between representation and abstraction” and she describes her process “as a puzzle.” Vivid colors, definitive lines, and solid shapes are pieced together until a congruous relationship between elements is formed. Driven by a desire to “preserve and share [an] experience”, Van Campen’s clean lines and strait forward approach to observation presents a fresh outlook on traditional subject matter.
Van Campen’s source material comes from her documentation of multiple road trips taken throughout the U.S. 'Seeing Texas' will present work inspired by Van Campen’s expeditions though Texas where she was amazed by the variety within the state’s landscape, small towns, and cities. Van Campen has the ability to capture the uniqueness of a location while retaining familiarity to her paintings of Maine, Utah, or California. Each piece is personalized through the addition of freehand components such as a gentle smoke cloud that rises above the hard-lines of refinery towers in Deer Park, The Birthplace of Texas. Through her precise brush strokes and keen color palate, Greta Van Campen narrates a transformative investigation of Texas and reveals the splendor of the Lone Star State.
Greta Van Campen received her Bachelor of Art from Bowdoin College and currently lives and works in Thomaston, Maine. Her work has been shown throughout the U.S. in both solo and group exhibitions. She has been the recipient of several awards and Artist in Residence programs, including the Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary in Guilford, Maine and the Wrangell Mountains Center in McCarthy, Arkansas.