“OCEAN FIELD PAINTINGS”
Written By Barbara Lindstrom
All Photos By Barbara Lindstrom
Boston, MA. Becky Gibbs brings us “ocean fields” of color, transparency, and depth in her latest show, Vast. It almost makes me a believer in alchemy, the way this artist creates images of water with just oil and canvas. “I hear the waves as I paint…my mind travels out to sea, lost in a water reverie,” the artist tells us. The visceral impression is so strong I have to resist the notion that I can actually dive in.
Sea Change I, oil on canvas, 24 x 18 in., 2018
‘My connection with the water began as a child at my family’s cottage on Lake Erie,” Becky tells us. “Being on or near the water was a big part of my life. As I got older, I realized how important it was to me – especially the feelings of calm and relaxation that came from being near the water.” Becky began to paint as a young child at her father’s side, as he made watercolors at the cottage near the shore. From that moment she decided on the artist’s path. After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts, Becky has lived in Tampa, Chicago, and now, in the Boston area for thirty years, where the Atlantic Ocean has been her inspiration.
Gibbs’ technique for arriving at her compositions and building that felt sense of water starts with her own photography. She takes hundreds of photos, and studies and manipulates multiple images. Her ocean field paintings have no horizon or reference to human scale. Using brushstrokes of unexpected color and multiple layers of transparency, she builds up the abstract nature of her paintings towards an “emotional narrative – the vast ocean.”
“Our affinity to the ocean is coupled with responsibility,” says Gibbs. The Blue Mind movement informs her approach. Biologist and researcher, Wallace J Nichols, wrote the book Blue Mind, a profound study on the many ways in which water positively impacts not just our lives, but also our minds. A global, slow-motion Blue Mind art project intends to pass a blue marble through every hand on Earth as a simple gesture and symbol of peace, gratitude, water and health. On a small table in Becky’s Galatea installation you will find a large glass container filled with blue marbles. Cards are inscribed with a quote from Nichols, “Each Blue Marble tells us that everything we do on this planet matters.” Gibbs offers each of us to take one blue marble away from her exhibit – and be inspired.
See more of Becky Gibbs’ work on beckykisabethgibbs.com
Becky’s show at Galatea runs through December 2, 2018.
Visit Galatea Fine Art at 460 Harrison Avenue, #B-6, Boston, MA 02118, 617-542-1500. Gallery hours Wednesday-Sunday 12-5pm and by appointment.