Co-owner of New Elements Gallery, Miriam Oberline, is excited about their upcoming Fourth Friday exhibition, “Sea Dreams.” It will bring together two unique styles that, when viewed together, capture the essence of summertime.
Angela Sinclair and Janet Triplett’s artwork will be celebrated on June 29, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., during New Elements’ artist reception. While both are oil painters, their styles could not be more different. Similar to Nigel Van Wiech’s work, with a touch of abstract realism, Sinclair’s paintings depict mesmerizing patterns of light and movement that emerge when a body is immersed in water. On the other hand, reminiscent of J.M.W. Turner, Triplett’s paintings depict soft, yet bold picturesque NC sunsets and sunrises.
Working as a full-time artist, Sinclair spends half the year in Las Vegas and half in Wilmington. Beginning her art journey in New York, she made patchwork skirts with her mother before going on to attend the High School of Arts, the School of Visual Arts, and the Art Students League in New York City. Once she moved to Vegas, Sinclair put away her textiles and developed a love for oil painting. Now, she has work hanging in galleries in North Carolina, Georgia, California, New York and Florida.
Sinclair’s signature style was first influenced by her children. “My kids were swimmers, and they were on the swim team, so I was always watching them in the water. I became fascinated with the water patterns,” she explains.
Once Sinclair began to paint figures floating in water, she couldn’t get enough. It’s a style that comes with challenges she embraces.
“Trying to make people look like they are floating effortlessly while relaxed is my goal,” she details. “I like adding something like a dress or a float to create many elements of interest and challenge myself. I like to paint at the saltwater creeks and sandbars inside the inlet because the different water-depths and ever changing patterns in the sand are hard to capture, but add so much to my work.”
Sinclair’s most recent painting entitled “Underwater” was a deviant from the norm, depicting two females under the water instead of above the water. Sinclair was able to play around with light, movement and perspective.
While Sinclair’s children started off as her only models (and still are), she recently began meeting new people for her paintings. “At first, they think I’m crazy,” she tells, “but when they see my work, they see my goal.” The models are asked to submerge themselves in the water, wearing items Sinclair has found.
“I go to vintage stores and pick out clothing,” she says. “I have them float in water, then I stand on a ladder to get the shot. Then, I go to my studio at Acme, put on some music and just paint.”
Over the years, Sinclair has added more abstract elements to her paintings. Developing her signature broad-brush stroke with specific colors. “I don’t really blend them too much. [It makes] the painting feel more upbeat and serene,” Sinclair adds.
While Sinclair once tried to emulate her photographs perfectly, recently she’s allowed herself more freedom. “Sometimes I don’t even put blue in the water—only variants of grey and green,” she says. “I’ve been abstracting the model’s hair, too, adding some purples.”
While abstractions frequent Sinclair’s paintings, they are few and far-between in Triplett’s. Both artists choose water as their subject matter and yet they illustrate water in very different ways. Triplett began drawing and painting in grammar school.
“One of my favorite Christmas gifts was a professional set of oil pastels I got when I was 10,” she explains.
She continued oil painting in high school and college. Graduating with a BS in interior design at the UNCG, Triplett went on to work with Wachovia Bank as director of design, and for a while, she put away the paints. In 2003, when Triplett and her husband moved to Bald Head Island, she rediscovered her passion for oil painting. Now, it’s her full-time career, and Triplett has work hanging up and down the East Coast, from Virginia to Florida. Her pieces range from 24-inches-by-24-inches to 36-inches-by-48-inches.
Taking on the subject of the ocean has been fascinating for Triplett, who has done portraiture and still life in the past. She appreciates the transient nature of the body of water, and the moods and feelings it produces.
“From puffy, white clouds and happy, blue oceans, to jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring sunsets and sunrises, to stormy breakers intensely hitting the beach and then slowly moving back into the sea—it changes all within a moment,” Triplett lists.
Triplett was introduced to plein-air painting five years ago. Now, painting outside is her preferred method. She starts with smaller pieces before taking them to a larger canvas. “I only use photography as references,” she says, “but as far as colors go, seeing the real thing and getting those colors down outside is important.”
A lover of detail, Triplett puts a lot of time and effort into her work. Lately, however, she gives herself more freedom while she paints. “My work now is a bit looser and perhaps not as detailed,” Triplett explains. “The greatest challenge I face is knowing when to stop! I usually put a painting away for a while and at a later date can see it more objectively.”
Triplett’s “Luminous Evening” reflects her alteration in style. Depicting an Elysian sunset against the NC coast, she uses soft brush strokes, heavy highlights and bright colors to give it nostalgic glow. Along with eight other pieces, “Luminous Evening” will be available for viewing at “Sea Dreams.”