Five-Minute Tours: Shirl Riccetti and donna e perkins at Archway Gallery, Houston

by Glasstire May 6, 2021

Shirl Riccetti, “Blue Couple”

Note: the following is part of Glasstire’s series of short videos, Five-Minute Tours, for which commercial galleries, museums, nonprofits and artist-run spaces across the state of Texas send us video walk-throughs of their current exhibitions. This will continue while the coronavirus situation hinders public access to exhibitions. Let’s get your show in front of an audience.

See other Five-Minute Tours here.

Shirl Riccetti & donna e perkins: Exploring Paint at Archway Gallery, Houston. Dates: May 1 – June 3, 2021.

From Archway Gallery:

“When friends Shirl Riccetti & donna e perkins decided to have a show together, they could never have anticipated such a tumultuous year as 2020. Perkins, an abstract painter working in acrylics, and Riccetti, a more traditional painter working in pen and watercolor, decided to confront the challenges of 2020 by continuing to do what they have been doing for most of their lives, Exploring Paint.

“Shirl Riccetti is an avid traveler. She has documented her trips to Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal (just to name a few) in pen and watercolor. Her sketchbooks hold narratives from her journeys, with notes of the smells and sounds, as well as her reactions and feelings of the moment. Riccetti feels that historic buildings hold memories of their past, and that people reflect their own journeys and stories. The memories evoked from her sketches and notes empower Riccetti’s pen to create lines that might be thick, thin, wobbly, uneven, or precise. She develops each painting differently, putting herself back into that time, and the moments that ‘grabbed’ her attention. Each drawing brings a memory into focus…. The giggling Chinese girls taking her photo in Sorrento as she was sketching, watching a family cow saunter down the mountain following a Slovak shepherd, the horrific sight of WWII bullet holes in a wall in Budapest, a family’s garden wall in Italy…. Shirl Riccetti captures moments of peoples’ lives and honors these encounters by documenting them with her pen and brush, with the drama of line and color.

“In contrast, the paintings in this exhibition by donna e perkins are abstract and reflect her physical relationship with her materials. Perkins delights in the tactile dance of her body, her arm, her fingers; a solo dance of meditation. She loves the slight bounce of the canvas resisting the pressure of her brush. She loves how liquid paint drips, runs, flows, and how one color morphs into another. She loves how paint squashes making micro mountain landscapes when the squashes are pulled apart and how light flirts with the iridescent and metallic then bounces off the miniscule ridges of strokes of paint. ‘My work is process driven,’ says perkins. ‘While there is always a back story, there is never a narrative.’

“The studio in which an artist works has an influence on that work. Some of this influence is physical and practical, but some is emotional. Perkins’ paintings were created in three different studios and represent three different relocations, all of which were stressful both physically and emotionally. Some of her paintings are somber, some bright, some shiney. Instead of a cohesive body of work, perkins presents the turmoil of the past two years, three hard moves, and an injured body in a COVID haze. ‘In many ways, this has been such a stressful time for me that I struggled just to keep my hand moving,’ perkins recounts. ‘This work is very experimental.'”

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