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Review: Emma Bennett at New Day Meadery

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Emma Bennett, "Gold Harbor"
  • Emma Bennett, "Gold Harbor"

Emma Bennett’s paintings at New Day Meadery caught me by surprise last Friday. I'd never heard of her before, but her work struck me immediately. Its impressive sense of composition shines forth particularly strongly in seascapes such as “Gold Harbor,” a watercolor on plywood painting depicting a waterfront cityscape perched upon a curved horizon. The two sailboats in the foreground with four differently colored sails (green, red, yellow, and black) provide a stark contrast to the gold glow of the sky, which darkens considerably as your eye travels from left to right. You might wonder if this is oncoming twilight or an approaching storm.

The pi├Ęce de résistance of this show is undoubtably “Aquarium,” a watercolor and chalk piece which portrays manifold varieties of fish within a four feet wide and one foot tall frame. None of the fish depicted are more stunning than the koi who seemingly butts his head against the surface of the painting as if it were the glass wall of an aquarium.

Hard as it is to believe, Bennett has been painting seriously for only three years. She is not always a perfect technician — her depictions of the human form seem a little flat. But no matter; sometimes imperfections make an artist even more interesting. The backstory of this Fountain Square-based artist is really too detailed to get into here. Suffice to say, I hope to see much more work from her in the months and years to come. At New Day Meadery through July 28

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