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November 14, 2000

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The Impressionistic Art of Kaye Daughdrill

by Fred Marchman

During the month of November be sure to visit the Cathedral Square Gallery at 260 Dauphin Street, Mobile, Alabama to see the impressionistic style paintings in oil, acrylic, and watercolors, pastels, and even a couple of stone lithographs, specially featured on the guest artistís wall to the rear of the gallery and in her bin of prints and works on paper.

Ms. Daughdrill, currently the art curator at the Eastern Shore Sports Academy, was an art teacher at Phillips Middle School for a number of years until her recent retirement. She now has more time to devote to her creative activity and we are beginning to see the fruit of her years of devotion to this discipline of the visual arts.

The springtime-like colors of her canvases permeate the senses like the floral perfumes of that intoxicating season. The colors are rendered in the impressionistically styled method of daubs of paint laid on the canvas in short shorts that optically blend as one steps back from the work, as is typical of the impressionistís method. The largest canvas in this guest artistís show, and the centerpiece of her exhibit, entitled, simply "Spring," showing purple and pink and white flowering trees conveys the feeling we experience as springtime comes to the Mobile area. This painting, like several others of those done in this style, reveal to us that human desire to reflect in art the glory of Mother Nature as we experience Her here on the Gulf Coast. These landscape impressions have a kind of feminine, yet universal appeal and are well suited to decorating any southern home.

There is a natural sense of purity, simplicity and beauty that one experiences in gazing on the works of Kaye Daughdrill. It is honest art without pretensions.

The original impressionists of that 19th Century movement in France, whose works are often imitated, are not easily duplicated, yet, anyone who attempts to paint in this way is bound to learn a great deal about the process of painting and about discovering themselves through the act of painting because it involves a really objective "science" of seeing nature, still life and the figure in "new" ways. Although the movement of impressionism had passed by the turn of the 19th century, it has continued to influence all of modern painting throughout the 20th Century and probably will continue to do so on into the 21st Century as well.

kayedaughdrill.jpg - 20633 BytesThe large (about 36" x 40") semi-abstract painting entitled "Polo" indicates this artistís new forays into the realm of "sports art" a la Leonard Nieman, Sadie Heath and so many others. We shall see where this new collection carries her and her future creations, as it is really too soon to tell, although it did win her a bronze medal in the Sports Art Olympics recently.

Personally, I was even more impressed with Ms. Daughdrillís skill in drawing and notably in pastels. Her nude figure drawings show a natural skill and grace. Especially worthy of mention is "Love and Kisses" in charcoal and pastel, and the strong drawing style shown in the pastel rendering of the three rooster sketches on the wall to the left of her exhibit.

The "White Rooster," a pastel on green paper, about 16" x 24", and the "Green Rooster" on coral pastel paper, are both excellent examples of her drawing skills as well, and have the freshness of a zen brush painting. They are very strong, decisive and direct. On the other hand, some of the other female torso drawings are in my opinion, less successful, graphically, in spite of the appealing subject matter and the Degas-like approach such as in "My Time," an 8x10" color drawing reproduction, numbered edition. And I liked the clever use of the marbled paper with the rather classic Greek stone bench lending a neo-classical appeal to the reproduction editions of the nude female torsos. Others of these figurative works on paper which are less tenuous, show a naturally graceful skill in drawing.

The smaller works on paper are well worth noting. Such as "Take a Walk," an about 11" x 14" numbered edition reproduction that shows the influence of the post-impressionist master, Cezanne.

Her versatility of media shows in the stone lithograph titled "Poltergeist Hideaway." Original lithographs (hand-pulled from the stone) have an appeal that is so different from other graphic art printmaking. They are almost literary and often carry a narrative appeal. I would like to see this artist do further efforts in this direction because of her drawing ability.

The viewer of Ms. Daughdrillís art will do well to take the time to peruse her works in paper in her paper bin and to note well the prints, drawings, numbered editions and originals available to the discerning collector.

The print bins at Cathedral Square Gallery contain the most marvelous and intimate examples of our Mobile area artistís work and at the most reasonable prices possible for this gift-giving season! Itís a very hip way for even a student or novice to start a real art collection while incurring little expense. Trust your inner self to be and become a Mobile Art collector of Mobile artists. If YOU donít do it -- WHO WILL (And WHEN?) BUY NOW!


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