Wilmington artist Christopher Reid works at a rapid pace. His upcoming exhibition, “Reflections,” will open Jazzcars Gallery, which debuts on the local gallery scene on Friday, May 8. The show will feature more than 100 of Reid’s works, the bulk of which were done from 2014 through 2015.
“I paint quickly but not in a haphazard manner,” Reid tells. “A lot of practice allows me to know exactly where I want to take a painting and how to get there.”
Reid’s theme, “Reflections,” explores literal and metaphorical contemplation. It was the result of his quest to find a common thread across his many works.
“I just paint what I feel,” he says. “I guess that is why my style seems to flow from impressionist to [photo-realism]. Once I start painting, it is a thrilling rush to get the essence of the subject onto my surface.”
More often than not, capturing the essence of his subjects means Reid creates his work en plein air (outdoors). “I tend to take a little while to settle in and get a feel for the place I am painting,” Reid says. “It’s a sort of meditation. I grew up at the beach, and it is hard for me to paint indoors when the sun is out.”
At a young age, Reid and his family relocated to Wilmington from South Africa. He went to school in California and Georgia but eventually made his way back to graduate high school and to study art at UNCW. After continuing his studies at the renowned Savannah College of Art and Design, Reid returned to Wilmington.
“We are fortunate to have a thriving art community in Wilmington with many opportunities for artists and aspiring artists,” Reid tells. “The city has a great mix of beach and culture. I seem to keep coming back here, and I get to appreciate it with fresh eyes every time.”
Reid’s latest exploration of Wilmington’s many landscapes include “Marina Reflection” (36”x48” pastel on panel) and “Curtained Reflection” (46”x30” pastel on panel). They represent the theme of the exhibition in pastels—Reid’s favorite medium.
“Reflection” also will feature works from several other media forms, including watercolor, acrylic, charcoal, graphite, and even colored pencil.
“An artist can create art with any medium if his drawing and understanding of color and composition are solid,” Reid comments. “Lately, I have been doing large pastels on panel and experimenting with creating my own grounds. I am constantly working to improve my art.”
The dedication to his practice has not gone unnoticed. Terry Jaszcar, owner of vintage and antique art and resale shop Jazzcars, immediately connected to his work.
“I saw a piece of Reid’s work on social media one day as I was looking for local artists for the gallery, and I was amazed,” Jaszcar details. “As a custom woodworker, art is all about the lines of something and how you manipulate them, how you evoke an emotional reaction. I experience this when I look at Reid’s work.”
“Reflections” kicks off the opening of Jazzcars’ gallery space and will include music, food and beverages. A portion of Reid’s sales will go to Habitat for Humanity. Folks who can’t make it to the exhibit’s debut can check come on Saturday, May 9, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
“My education has given me a great appreciation for how much all artists owe a debt to the past masters,” Reid concludes. “Artists such as Casey Baugh, David Kassan, Richard McKinley and Harley Brown are creating amazing work. We are enjoying a sort of renaissance of realist art recently, and it is an exciting time to be painting.”