Spring – A Renewal

By Paige Roehrig on April 4, 2019

Spring is often regarded as a time for renewal, growth, and expansion. Even though we can achieve these things any time of the year, there is something about the warm air and new growth that push us to take action and make change. Whether that be renewing your space through ritual spring cleaning or a feeling renewal in yourself, artist members of Co|So have captured this energy of spring in Members Show: Renewal.

Kat O’Connor, CM, I Have Just Begun, oil on board, 43” x 32”

There’s nothing quite as renewing as jumping in to a cool pool of water on a hot day as Kat O’Connor paints in this life-size painting. She has exhibited her work nationwide, including three solo shows at regional museums, and won numerous awards, including a 2018 Mass Cultural Council Fellowship in Drawing and Printmaking. She even landed on the cover of artscope magazine in the July/August issue of 2016 with one of her underwater paintings. Kat O’Connor is fascinated with the effect of water on human bodies, and how they can be distorted and disconnected. When gravity is removed, underwater figures are often foreshortened, hands and feet floating forward, no longer encumbered by the need to support the weight of the body.

Ellen McGill, Tropical Leaves, 23” x 28” pastel

Ellen McGill has stated that nature is her muse as it never fails to inspire her and move her, and has commented on how light enhances the natural beauty she sees. Her pastel painting, Tropical Leaves, demonstrates the fusion of those two subjects. The artist’s painting immediately reminds her viewer of warmth and the foliage that spring will bring to us. McGill delicately highlights the green of the plant as sunlight beams through the leaves.

Jon Allan Marshall, CM, Spring Roots-Hemlock, oil on copper and wood, 17” x 14”

Jon Allan Marshall’s oil paintings are created in the classic traditions he is inspired by: 17th century Dutch landscape, still life, portraiture, history, allegory, and the Hudson River School painters. In this piece, the scene in the oil on copper painting continues onto the painted wooden frame, a long-running theme in Marshall’s work. The paper in the foreground is a trompe l’oeil carpet page from an ancient manuscript, the Book of Durrow. According to the artist, this is a painting about hope. Life in the roots waits to continue the growth of the tree, indicating that spring is coming, something we can all look forward to.

John Rufo, Waking into Light, oil on panel, 26” x 32”

John Rufo paints an early morning along the inner shore of Cape Cod, looking east as the sun approaches the horizon, capturing the essence of renewal in the moment a new day begins. The cool color palette of this serene setting is consistent with many of the artist’s other artworks. During his artistic process Rufo works back and forth between painting and drawing on the surface, often utilizing a palette knife to create marks that contrast with the brush strokes. Rufo hopes to facilitate a connective interaction between the artwork and the viewer, as he believes that people respond to art when it evokes a personal connection.

Susan Hollis, CA, A Day to Treasure, oil on canvas, 21” x 36”

Susan Hollis perfectly paints everything nostalgic about warm east coast evenings along the shore. She reminds her viewer of the subtle moments that bring us joy during the warmer months, when the cold finally breaks. As a full-time artist, Hollis spends most of her days in her studio on the Cape creating works that often depicts peaceful moments full of color such as A Day to Treasure.


All works can be seen at Co|So in Members Show: Renewal, on view in the Upper Gallery until April 28th.