Two exhibitions - a great inspiration

Artone Contemporary - Mixed Media by Gallery Artists and David Quantrill - Mixed Media Paintings are at The John Russell Gallery, 4-6 Wherry Lane, Ipswich until January 19.

Artone Contemporary - Mixed Media by Gallery Artists and David Quantrill - Mixed Media Paintings are at The John Russell Gallery, 4-6 Wherry Lane, Ipswich until January 19.

The John Russell Gallery celebrates the season with two stunning exhibitions. Artone Contemporary, a mixed show, features a large and eclectic selection of paintings and sculpture by the gallery's entire portfolio of artists. It's a fabulous year round showcase that allows you to take works home on the day of their purchase. Equally exciting is David Quantrill's solo exhibition of abstract expressionist landscape paintings. Exploding with bright, uplifting colour and executed with a masterly sense of composition they are simply sensational.

Landscapes also feature in the mixed exhibition; among them Mary Spicer's vibrant Gorse Blaze, November Morning, mixed media. It's a powerful large painting with a complex palette in which gorse and a variety of foliage zing with life. It makes a good contrast to Anthony Atkinson's more sedate landscapes of Suzette, and Julie Giles' impressionistic River Wall, Elderflower, oil on hand made paper.

Among the still lifes in the show don't miss Chloe Cheese's Piano Nobile - Venice, pencil drawing/watercolour, a deftly sketched study of delicious Venitian confectionary in which loose architectural shapes form the background.. Dione Page's mouth watering Inside Outside, mixed media, is also superb as is Chris Ryland's water colour Tulips In A Glass Vase; the former a richly coloured, detailed study of lobsters and fish, the latter possessing a decorous freshness and purity.

Other notable works include Liz Moon's amusing watercolour Vamping It Up, featuring a bar pianist clad in a rouge gown with a 40s hair-do, Gill Mutch's explosive and textural Dark Clouds Carry The Sun Away, an emotive oil, and Bruer Tidman's semi abstract the Entertainers ,a work that captures movement stunningly. Also memorable is Joan Hodes' delightful loose watercolour The Quay. This really is an eclectic show.

David Quantrill's paintings vary in their abstraction, but none are that abstract that you can't identify their intent. The large works Erosion Covehithe, acrylic on board, Beach Path, acrylic on canvas, and The Common, Southwold, acrylic on paper, are all breathtaking; their palettes and compositions lending them drama, energy, and confidence. The show also features a selection of smaller paintings; including North York Moors, mixed media on paper, in which Quantrill captures the hues and atmosphere of the heather-covered moors in all their wild essence. A really exciting exhibition by an artist who strikes me as someone totally at one with themselves and moving in exactly the right direction. Wow!

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Sonia Carvill

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