Kate Knapp at Jessie Edwards
More than 20 new oils-on-canvas by Kate Knapp will be on exhibit at the Jessie Edwards Studio on the second floor of the Post Office building from Friday, July 26 to Wednesday, Aug. 7. The opening reception is on Saturday, July 27, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Painting in the fall of 2018 and this past spring, Knapp has captured familiar views in new ways and, to her delight, has found places unknown to her even after a lifetime of painting on the island.
“I like the real world,” Knapp said recently, referring to the combination of natural settings and to man-made objects that she sees in harmony with nature. For example, in “Mohegan Bluffs Morning,” the early light brings out the precipitous angles and contours of the bluffs, which in turn are repeated in the twists and turns of the stairs descending to the beach 141 steps below. The slant of the fence in the left foreground also suggests that sense of being off-balance, while in the distance, the South East Light stands straight and tall, with its red brick solidity against a pale sky.
Several pieces emphasize the openness, power, and vastness of nature. “East Side View, Stormy Day” again shows a lone house at the edge of the sea. The surf rolls in and in the distance, the ferry makes its way past Clay Head into Old Harbor.
Knapp has said that her eye loves the landscape of Block Island, but she also loves the structures on the island, especially those that remind her of an older time. For example, “Block Island Cottage” has a simple elegance in its faded clapboard siding and various roof angles. It is the same cottage seen in “Andrews Porch View,” with its complex perspective. The angles of the white porch in the foreground frame a view of the red cottage to the left, with an orange bathing suit on the clothesline. Beyond is a pond and farther on is the ocean. We look through two windows at the gothic gables of a house by the sea. Again, outside and inside worlds come together.
“I feel joy when I pick up a brush to paint a light effect or a familiar view in a way I have never seen before,” Knapp commented. Other views that reflect that joy are of tranquil ponds, clotheslines snapping in the wind, flower-strewn paths to the water, and a sunset at Dorie’s Cove with warm yellow and pink tones spreading across the sky and the water.