The Paintings of Susan Outlaw (Saturday Art Share)
We come around a bend, or up over a hill, and we stop, and maybe we gasp, and we lock our eyes on a scene and we mutter something like, “that’s beautiful.’ When we try to tell our friend about the scene later, we fail. We confess, “you just had to be there.” Sometimes simplicity grounds beauty, true. But often times a beautiful scene emerges from a wash of elaborate detail, and reaches out to us through complex refractions of light.
I appreciate how Susan Outlaw does not shy away from the complexity, but rather throws herself into it; she doesn’t seek shortcuts to avoid the burden of detail, she attacks it. She breathes life into every important detail of the scene, and she obeys the demands of light in all its vanity.
Perhaps the magic of these pieces comes from the contrast they capture between tranquility and detail. The images strike us as serene, calm, peaceful, and yet they invigorate our brains with the constant stimulation of detail. You can look at these pieces in passing and they will touch you. Or you can stop and study them, and they will surprise you, and maybe amaze you. I find this reflects how God works and creates as well.
A review by: Dan Kent
1. Crimson on White:
2. Reeds and Fog:
3. Dandelions and Pines:
4. Escarpment View:
5. Evening Lights, Boston Harbor:
6. Helmut’s Memory:
7. Cerulean & Aqua:
8. Sheep Pasture:
9. Roger’s Pass:
10. Winter Tracks:
Daniel Kent has authored several books, including Confident Humility: Becoming Your Full Self Without Becoming Full of Yourself, and the series The Training of KX12. He also produces and hosts ReKnew’s Podcast Greg Boyd: Apologies & Explanations and serves as editor-in-chief here at ReKnew.org.