By Sage E. Spitz
Vibrant and vivid paintings line the Art Gallery walls in the newest exhibit, The Landscape in a Still Life, featuring works from artist Bill Scott.
Scott’s paintings will be displayed in the gallery until Oct. 29.
The 22 paintings, pastels, prints and watercolors represent Scott’s work from 1977 to 2017.
Harry Naar, professor of fine arts and art gallery director, was inspired to display Scott’s paintings because of his ability to interpret nature in a different and emotional way by utilizing vibrant colors. Scott is able to impose unique imagery when depicting the natural world.
“Even though the work appears abstract, there are elements in it that relate very much to nature,” said Naar. “If people really take their time, even if they don’t know very much about art, but if they rely on what they do know and their experiences, you can make a distinction between these paintings, and you begin to connect.”
In some paintings, the viewer can feel they are part of the environment of the piece, while in others, one feels they are observing from a distance. Naar relates the paintings to music, in that they demonstrate different notes and movements. Some paintings are quieter and more subdued while others are emphatic and immersive.
All students can connect with the art since there are different ways to perceive it, Naar said.
“One thing that is really important in my classes is that students can relate to things based upon what they know, and utilize that experience to incorporate their thoughts into a variety of different areas,” he added.
Scott approaches each painting with an open mind.
“Everything I paint is sort of based on out-the-window silhouettes or things that could be in a silhouette,” Scott said. “I’ve always liked for the light to come from within the painting.”
He tries to create an atmosphere that is representative of what he wishes society looked like, adding an aura that he believes should be more prominent in the modern world.
“I think emotionally and psychologically, I’m trying to create a space that has a calmness to it, an equilibrium to it that I don’t feel exists in social life for me,” he said.
On his creative processes, Scott believes it is important to not finish a painting instantly, but to keep returning to it over time.
“You don’t always get things right away, or in life, you don’t understand things immediately. You have to think about it, and some things make much more sense later,” he said.
According to Scott, he doesn’t want the responsibility of deciding what lasting impression his art has on people.
“I want them to take an active role in it and see whatever they see,” he said. “I don’t have to see the same thing they do. There’s no right answer. I would almost rather [the pieces] leave people speechless to think about the meaning.”
According to Scott, the unique nature of his paintings allows for many interpretations.
“There are paintings where you see everything in the first 15 seconds, and no matter how much longer you look at them, you never see anything more than you saw in the first 15 seconds,” he said. “I hope my paintings you can see in 15 seconds, and then no matter how many more times you look at it, there’s still something new to see.”
Printed in the 10/4/17 edition.