Alive with Color

American Art Collector - - Contents -

In the paint­ings of Mark Beck and Mar­cia Burtt, view­ers may ini­tially be pulled in through their uses of strong and full color pal­ettes and then struck by the scenes that play out be­fore them. From July 14 to 27, the Gallery at Tree’s Place in Or­leans, Mas­sachusetts, will present a two-artist ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing Beck’s and Burtt’s new­est pieces. For the show, ti­tled Alive with Color, both will present work fo­cused on wa­ter, but in vastly dif­fer­ent in­ter­pre­ta­tions.

Burtt’s paint­ings are land­scapes of the wa­ter’s edge. They range from rivers and oceans to es­tu­ar­ies and canals, al­low­ing her to ex­plore the ar­chi­tec­tural and nat­u­ral sur­round­ings as well. Beck em­pha­sizes wa­ter as a sym­bol for so­cial and po­lit­i­cal is­sues. His paint­ings are filled with im­agery and ti­tles that spur con­ver­sa­tions that may of­ten­times be con­sid­ered taboo.

When cre­at­ing a work, Burtt ex­plores a full range of col­ors. She says, “I like all of the col­ors that one has avail­able now be­cause if you don’t have them on your pal­ette, you don’t see them.” This has al­lowed her to take no­tice of the small sub­tleties and color changes that can hap­pen in

vary­ing lights and shad­ows as she works.

Among her pieces for the show is Ar­rival, of Pismo Beach, Cal­i­for­nia, where fig­ures are run­ning out and wad­ing in the wa­ter. The ter­rain there, she has found, is sim­i­lar to Cape Cod beaches where there is a grad­ual shelf of sand. “I’m in Cal­i­for­nia, so mostly I paint on the Santa Bar­bara chan­nel, which has a steep slope. It falls off and is a deep trough. You get one or two big waves com­ing in, and that’s all you see,” she says. “I went to a place on the cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia coast called Pismo Beach, and it has that very grad­ual shelf and a kid can run out safely. The waves rush to the shore and kids race right in be­cause it’s a beau­ti­ful, grad­ual shelf.”

In his group of paint­ings, Beck says, “I use the wa­ter was a vis­ual uni­fier to dis­cuss is­sues that I don’t per­son­ally see dis­cussed as much as I think they should be. They are slav­ery, the treat­ment of black Amer­ica by white Amer­ica for over four cen­turies now, em­pire and global warm­ing…It’s us­ing wa­ter to try to ad­dress those things with­out hit­ting one over the head.”

In Em­pire Re­vival, a red couch with a fab­ric in the Em­pire Re­vival de­sign style sinks into the wa­ter be­low, while in There Goes the Neigh­bor­hood, a house plum­mets down a water­fall. The pieces are the artist’s com­men­tary on the cur­rent times.

From 5 to 7 p.m. on open­ing day, July 14, the gallery will host a re­cep­tion for the show.

The Gallery at Tree’s Place 60 Route 6A

Or­leans MA 02653 • (508) 255-1330 •



Mark Beck,

There Goes the Neigh­bor­hood, oil on can­vas, 24 x 36"


Mar­cia Burtt, Ar­rival, acrylic on panel, 24 x 24"


Mar­cia Burtt, Canal at Sal­le­les d’Aude, acrylic on panel, 9 x 20"


Mark Beck,

Em­pire Re­vival, oil on can­vas, 20 x 30"

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