Continuing through December 30, 2011
“Fantasia” seems an apt descriptor for Jim Waid’s recent paintings. Lush, lovely and sensual, the they imbue nature imagery with musical references. And like a musical fantasia, the exhibit is a joyful merger of familiar sights and fanciful tangents.
Waid, who has lived and worked in Arizona for three decades, titled the exhibit “Song Lines,” inspired in part by a book about Aboriginal culture and its thesis that sounds can produce imagery, and vice versa. “Song Lines,” the title painting, presents a primitive, flame-colored bird against swirls of gold. The painterly attention to brushwork and layering in this and other works is astounding.
“Round Midnight” takes its name from a jazz standard and follows through with suggestions of woodwinds, foliage and dancing fluorescent teardrops against a black background. In “Night Echoes” Waid wants you to hear the buzzing and chirping of nocturnal creatures in a collage of shapes, lines and dots suggestive of a garden at night. But for a taste of the artist’s versatility, turn the corner of the gallery for “Yakima Valley,” an abstraction of blackened branches and trails against a snowy field. Or view “Along the Tanque Verde,” an homage to Waid’s desert roots.
Waid once told an interviewer, “I don’t want the paintings to be like you’re looking at a landscape - I want them to feel like you’re in it.” The immersive, even musical, experience of this exhibition shows him to be a man of his word.