Art with distinctive style

Mick Beale, Paintings in Oil, is at the Frame Workshop & Gallery, 22 St Nicholas St, Ipswich until October 15.Mick Beale's atmospheric oil paintings have a distinct style.

Mick Beale, Paintings in Oil, is at the Frame Workshop & Gallery, 22 St Nicholas St, Ipswich until October 15.

Mick Beale's atmospheric oil paintings have a distinct style. Beale, a self-taught artist, works in oil; frequently applying his colour in the style of the impressionists and pointillists, multi-layering a mass of hues, and using a multitude of dots to create depth.

In Sunset And Poppies a pale veil of lilac sky and clutch of cypress trees contrasts with a deep carpet of crimson poppies that seems to extend forever. It's a romantic, image which celebrates the beauty of nature. Bend In The River has a similar impact. Here we see a line of trees growing from the banks of a stream, tracing its meandering form. An abundance of wild flowers sprout from the earth. Again, the style is impressionistic, the paint thick and multi-layered. Both works suggest a fertile French landscape, as does the more naively -styled Blossom.

The Night Oak is more illustrative, its palette of blue and black only. You are reminded of a fabulous book illustration; one that inspires the imagination The huge oak casts a mighty black shadow. There's a sense of unearthliness in the painting.

A number of other works in the show also have a very limited palette; including Where The Wind Blows, a mass of blazing orange which features a tree bending to the wind. These paintings, though similar in technique, are reminiscent of strands of African art.

Winter Sun is different again in subject matter; its sloping hill thickly laden with snow and Christmas trees. It would make a superb Christmas card or calendar illustration, and has commercial and popular appeal.

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An interesting show with some strong images.

Sonia Carvill

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