I took an opportunity while staying at my daughter’s house to go see “Painting Common Ground,” the plein air landscapes of Erwin Wolff and Richard Jordan, at the Carnegie Center for the Arts in Three Rivers, Michigan.
When you are creating every day it’s good to regularly refill your well of inspiration well. This outing seemed just the ticket, after a few weeks of intense baby care, what with feedings and burpings and changings. It was nice to get out of the house for a few hours.
Richard Jordan is the founder of the Plein Air Artists of West Michigan, a group that I recently joined, so I was curious about what I would see at the show. I’ve only met the Richard and Erwin once or twice and I didn’t have any ideas about what their respective styles might be, except for what I’d glimpsed on their easels in passing.
Once we found the art center my sister and I wandered the halls and floors of the two buildings, one previously used as a library and the other a former bank building. There was a high school/community college show upstairs that we liked very much and also a glassworks show on the main floor. When we asked the director where the plein air show was, she told us Richard and Erwin’s paintings were in the “room with the pianos” on the main level next door.
It was pretty impressive to see so many wonderful plein air paintings in one place! Richard and Erwin have been painting outdoors for many years and it’s reflected in the confidence of their strokes and the compositional clarity of their pieces.
Each artist contributed 25 smaller paintings plus one larger painting to the show, and the works feature natural settings around Michigan, from way up in the UP all the way to the southwest corner of the state. I enjoyed it very much. When I got back to my daughter’s place I also watched a video explaining their individual approaches to their work.
It’s always inspiring to me to see other artists’ works and opens my mind to new ways of seeing the world. I’m very glad I went.
The show continues through April 7, 2022.
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