Lancaster Museum of Art: Elizabeth Osborne – Veils of Color

I started this morning feeling distracted.  It was difficult to bring myself to the present as I drove down 501 towards Lancaster.  The day was cool; a fall cold front approached the clear atmosphere.  Going into any city on a week day is different from a weekend.  On a Wednesday, you see the real, working face of the neighborhood.  The weekend pretends to be something else, it caters to tourists and is full of one-time events.  I admired the architecture of downtown Lancaster as I made my way through the city.  When I passed locals on the street, I thought about how they get to see this beauty everyday.  On the edge of Musser Park is the Lancaster Museum of Art.  The museum is in a mansion surrounded by open space, set apart from the clusters of 1800’s brick businesses and homes.  The inside is intimate – the reception desk is in the hallway that runs to the back of the house and there are fireplaces in the two high ceiling galleries. The curator has chosen to arrange complimentary pairs of Elizabeth Osborne‘s paintings on opposite walls.  This creates a dynamic viewing experience as I find myself turning and walking around the room.  Her grand, bright paintings are reminiscent of color fields, but we can see she is expressing specific objects and landscapes.   In one of the pairings, the paintings are in separate galleries, so the viewer must gaze across the hallway.  The size and boldness of the paintings command the rooms, so you can feel that they are meant to be viewed from a distance.  Her imagery has a softness, like wet on wet watercolor, though the medium is oil.  Where humans appear, there are sharp details to the faces, especially the eyes and nose.  These become focal points as the details of the rest of the body and surroundings fade into impressions.  While I am not usually drawn to pure landscapes, Icarus, one of her “floating landscapes” was mesmerizing.   What I love about going to see art is the clarity that my mind feels afterwards.  Focusing on the experience that has been created helps me to redirect my thoughts to the present.  Osborne’s vibrant work will be on display until November 13th.


About Erin

I am a watercolor and embroidery artist who loves going to art exhibits and meeting other artists.
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