Nicole Strasburg – New Terrain at Sullivan Goss

Posted on Oct 17 by SEASONS Magazine

"Foothill Images," Nicole Strasburg, 2013. Oil on birch panel.

“Foothill Images,” Nicole Strasburg, 2013. Oil on birch panel.

Santa Barbara-based artist Nicole Strasburg‘s newest exhibition, New Terrain, is on view at Sullivan Goss Gallery (7 E. Anapamu St.) through Dec. 1.

According to a statement from the gallery, to create this newest body of work, Strasburg ventured into the back country and returned with souvenirs of new lands explored  and seasons experienced. ‘For many years, Strasburg’s work has focused on the ocean, but with this new exhibition, she turns that focus to the woodlands and its inhabitants. Weather’s many guises and all four seasons are represented in great detail. Pine trees are a dominant symbol of this new terrain. The creatures of the forest are lovingly and exactly painted. She also examines the native plant life and names it in the tradition of the biological recorders from the 19th century; the smaller painting, Astragalus Trichopodus, more commonly known as Santa Barbara milk vetch, is faithfully rendered and could be put into a reference book of native California flora.
Unwilling to part from the sea, there are paintings punctuating this exhibition of the Pacific in many different lights and clouds that shift and morph across each composition, Strasburg’s distinct brushstrokes the driving force behind them.
The precise renderings of Strasburg’s surroundings are tempered by the poetry in every layer of paint and the way it is thoughtfully handled by the artist. The largest painting in the exhibition, Murder at Twilight, consists of striations of evening colors punctuated by a vortex of crows circling, loudly announcing the beginning of night. A tiny peek of blue sky offers a portal to the day that was through the twilight it has become.
Nicole Strasburg collectors will find familiarity in the ocean and sky, but be thrilled by the artist’s gift of this New Terrain.”

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