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Jim Waid
at Riva Yares Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
Recommendation by Deborah Ross

Jim Waid's sensual paintings imbue immersive landscape imagery with musical references.

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.

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