Argyle Fine Art won’t let COVID-19 spoil the show.
Owner Adriana Afford is exhibiting gorgeous and uplifting, flower paintings – in a first solo show by emerging Halifax artist Raquel Roth – in the gallery’s front windows.
The acrylic paintings, visible during the day and magically lit at night, are a must for anyone who loves flowers – fluffy peonies like prom dresses; roses bursting out of a thin, stem-crowded vase; bent, yellow tulips spilling over a violet shadow.
Roth grew up in Trinidad where she was drawn to vibrant colour in nature and in the island’s annual carnivals.
“Colour excites me and serves as creative inspiration for my cheerful, bold and whimsical pieces,” says Roth, in her artist’s statement.
“There’s something magical about how pigments of different colours interact to produce the most luscious, and sometimes unexpected, hues.”
Roth’s favourite flowers are peonies which she calls the “divas of the flower world” and which grow in her backyard.
Within their delicate and dense layers, she finds many variations in colour including white, ivory, pink and pale green.
Her style varies from decorative and carefully patterned pictures like Springtime Tapestry to slightly abstracted imagery. Beneath the gauzy, full, pink peonies in Keep Dreaming Peonies is a delightful, soft green space with drips of paint.
Roth has a strong and bold use of colour to unite each painting and create visual excitement. She paints on the sides of the canvas and, in some cases, dots the edges of her work in folk art playfulness as in Polka Dot Petals of red flowers with red-edged leaves in a red glass vase, a steal at $100.
Unlike her blousy, pale pink, peony paintings, Pink Potpourri Peonies is a thin vertical painting of punches of saturated, deep pinks with lime leaves in a dance of dark and light.
Roth, who is a dental clinical instructor at Dalhousie University, is a member of the Association of Atlantic Area Artists, the Dartmouth Visual Art Society and the Contemporary Art Society and is a juried member of the Halifax Art Map Society.
This exhibit has QR codes next to paintings for anyone interested in buying immediately as they look in the windows using their phone. The show is also online: PETALS: Raquel Roth and a few other new small works! | Flickr and Roth does a YouTube tour online.
Adriana Afford and I spoke at length outdoors, masked and at six feet apart, in front of the paintings.
We were both jubilant to talk to another living creature apart from husbands and cats (for which we are truly grateful!).
We spoke before Wednesday’s announcement of an extended lockdown which, while necessary, extends the difficulties being experienced by small, shuttered, local businesses.
Argyle Fine Art has a strong online and social media presence. Popular sellers, apart from Roth’s works, are “mystery paintings,” which are paper-wrapped artworks available for a set price and the art is a total surprise to the purchaser.
Upcoming is a new exhibit of poster designs by artists online and on poles outside the gallery, May 31 to July 31. Posters will be installed on poles on the 15th and 31st of each month, and rotated through the poles within the month. Adriana got the idea from a similar project in Victoria, B.C.