James Winn – New Paintings

March 18 - April 15, 2017

Artist's Reception: March 18, from 2 - 5pm

The Tory Folliard Gallery is pleased to present New Paintings by James Winn. Up close and larger than life images of flowering plants bathed in modeled light and painted with imperceptible brushstrokes, have become a signature of Winn’s oeuvre. Surprise Lilies blooming long after their foliage has withered away; Azalea bushes abundant with blossoms; and ponds filled with Lotus Lilies rising above the water, are all brought to life in captivating detail. Upon close inspection, insects and animal life can be seen quietly dwelling amongst the flowers.  

Winn begins his creative process by taking hundreds of photos of his chosen subject, recording the visual information he needs to go to work in his studio.  However, as accurate as photos may seem they often hide more than they reveal, according to Winn.  Once at his easel with paintbrush in hand, Winn thoughtfully restores the life affirming presence of these flowering plants with photorealistic skill and a dazzling ability to illuminate the canvas.  

Many of the works in this exhibition feature Surprise Lilies, also known as Resurrection Flowers or Nek-kid Ladies, found blooming in late summer throughout his northern Illinois neighborhood. Photographed in daylight, Winn brings the flowering plants into extreme focus causing the background to virtually disappear.  In the studio Winn replaces the non-descript background with complete darkness resulting in stunning effects of light and dimension.