The Stillwater Public Library is featuring a show of paintings by Christopher Copeland until the end of August. The show is titled “St. Croix Sketches,” reflecting the artist’s impressionistic portrayal of the St. Croix River and the surrounding countryside.
In a news release, Copeland stated, “The plein air pastel sketches in this show are a visual journal of the St. Croix River. Working in the dramatic but short-lived light of sunrise or sunset requires that I work quickly to capture these sometimes-momentary effects. The lack of detail is purposeful, and I select visual elements for compositional balance.”
Copeland answered a few questions for St. Croix 360 via e-mail.
How often do you get out painting the river?
With my proximity to the river, I can usually get out to sketch often. I prefer the early morning hours when the river being less active, the quiet times before it awakes.
Are there any places you especially like to paint around here?
North on the river, Marine to Taylors Falls is an area I focus on. The bluffs, rock formations and the numerous small islands make for interesting subjects and compositions.
You’ve painted in locations around the country. What is unique about painting the St. Croix River and the region?
The river is a natural gem. To have this river protected and near is an important theme of my work. I get energized by the mountains of the west but the St. Croix means home to me.
Do you try to convey anything in particular about this area in your work?
Underlining the work conveys a message of quiet solitude, a calm reflection with a sense of place, a visual poetry of light and atmosphere.
The gallery is located on the upper level of the library adjacent to the terrace. The Stillwater Public Library is located at 224 Third Street North. More information is available at www.stillwaterlibrary.org or at phone (651) 275.4338. The library is open Monday – Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.