‘Natural Beauty’ At Day Spa

The Society of Creative Arts of Newtown will host “Natural Beauty,” featuring works by Susan McLaughlin, June 18-July 12 at Avancé Esthétiques Gallery at the spa, 228 South Main Street in Newtown.

The collection of paintings will be the next in SCAN’s ongoing “Art About Town” series of exhibitions.

An opening reception is planned for Wednesday, June 18, from 5 to 8 pm.

The exhibition will include a number of recent paintings from the artist’s “Wings” series, done in her Newtown studio, including the signature piece of the collection.

“Wings transport us to alternate realities,” she posted on her website. “In my current body of work, I have focused on the concept of ‘wings,’ as embodied in insects, birds and even human beings. I combine elements of both reality and fantasy in ways that I hope shed a new light on the interrelationships between humans and the natural world around us. Sometimes the division is clear; on other occasions the two worlds melt into one.”

Ms McLaughlin earned her master’s degree at New York University. In a critical analysis of her work, Professor John Torreano, co-director of NYU’s art department, said “her work maintains a consistently assertive and convincing quality in both style and image. The portraits and landscapes show authority with brushwork and color wherein the images, be they of people or flowers, hover between caricature and illustration, with a flatness that brings to mind odd juxtapositions of artists like Van Gogh and  Grandma Moses.”

The artist’s motto is “Depingo Ergo Sum,” her “artistic reworking of Rene Descartes,” she says at the opening of her Artist’s Statement. Ms McLaughlin uses multiple layers of acrylic paint mixed with acrylic medium/varnish on moderate to large scale linen canvases. She slows the drying time of the acrylic pigment in order to work wet on wet, but then utilizes “the fast-drying nature of acrylics to hasten the buildup of multiple glazes.”

In his piece, Mr Torreano continued to describe her work, saying: “Ms McLaughlin has applied her impressive technical skills and artistic vision to an eclectic variety of subject matter and media, ranging from portraits to landscapes, watercolor illustrations for children, to sophisticated pen and ink drawings, and whimsical, subtly barbed cartoons.

Ms McLaughlin has worked as an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Parsons School of Design. She has been included in a number of group and one-artist exhibitions. An award-winning artist, she received the Judges’ Award during The 44th Annual SCAN Spring Juried Art Show for “Wings,” a 36 by 30-inch acrylic on linen work expected to be included in this month’s show at Avancé Esthétiques.

The spa is within Sand Hill Plaza, to the immediate north of Panera Bread. Its hours are Tuesday and Thursday, noon to 9 pm; Wednesday, 10 am to 6 pm; Friday, 9 am to 6 pm; and Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm. For additional information about the show call Avancé Esthétiques at 203-270-9059.

For additional information about Ms McLaughlin, visit her website or her blog.


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