Artist Paige Patterson Wilson plays with bright colors in her abstract works.

Artist Paige Patterson Wilson plays with bright colors in her abstract works. (Paige Patterson Wilson)

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara announces the opening of Abstract Trompe L’oeil, an exhibit of oil paintings by Paige Patterson Wilson, with a reception, 5-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at the foundation gallery, 229 E. Victoria St. The exhibit runs until Nov. 14.

Abstract Trompe L’oeil highlights Wilson’s deep interest in the interplay of colored surfaces. Her previous paintings were conventional still-life paintings depicting recognizable objects with reflective, transparent surfaces that appear as small abstractions.

Creating these paintings led her to the idea of creating purely abstract still life paintings. At first glance, her new work appears to be flat, hard edge, geometric and abstract. Upon closer observation, viewers are drawn in by the illusion of depth.

To create her unusual paintings, Wilson first constructs an abstract still life — a three-dimensional composition of opaque, translucent and transparent papers, and colored gels.

After arranging lighting above to create a kaleidoscope of reflections, she paints the still life from direct observation, challenging herself to create the illusion of three dimensions and transparency using only opaque pigments.          

Although the paintings are formal compositions, they evoke futuristic cities, outer space, and science fiction settings. Surface flatness and the illusion of depth coexist simultaneously, creating spaces where the interplay and fusion of saturated colors, abstract shapes and imagination magically coexist.

Wilson received her BA in 1979 from San Francisco State University, where she studied with Robert Bechtle, a photo-realist painter. She completed her MFA in 1982 at UCSB, where she studied with Ciel Bergman and William Dole.

She has maintained a studio and residence in Santa Barbara for 40 years and has participated in many group exhibitions and several solo exhibitions. 
She currently teaches art classes at SBCC School of Extended Learning.

A workshop to demonstrate the process of setting up an abstract still life and translating it to a painting will be held 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at the AFSB Gallery. Cost to attend is $30. To buy a ticket, visit the Architectural Foundation’s website.

The Architectural Foundation is in the historic Acheson House, corner of Garden and East Victoria streets. Regular gallery hours are 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment.

— Rocio Iribe for Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara.