Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 1:56 am | Fair 53º


At Sullivan Goss, Meredith Brooks Abbott: An American Impressionist

In her newest exhibition at Sullivan Goss, local artist Meredith Brooks Abbott, an American Impressionist and member of the Oak Group, reveals herself anew in a bright crop of recent paintings that will be on display Feb. 2-April 2 at the gallery, 11 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara.

Abbott's art paints a portrait of the artist as a seeker of beauty and bounty in nature. She keeps returning to certain sites, always trying to paint them as though she were cresting that same ridge for the first time. What is new here? What does the scene offer now that it hasn't before?

Abbott's intimate portraits of cut-flowers and cloth are interleaved with grand views of local farm land, the ocean, and even 2016's unusual formation of pyrocumulous clouds over the mountains.

This year's fire season was aggravated by the continuing drought in Southern California. However, the California Abbott paints looks anything but drought-stricken; flowers bloom with vibrancy, fields are plowed and fertile for the next harvest, which also speaks to the deep roots of the Brooks and Abbott families on the Central Coast, both familial and agricultural.

Abbott uses the the atmospheric SoCal light to shine on the bounty of agricultural and native flora of the left coast. Her paintings offer a reminder of greener times and hope for the rains that will come.

Abbott’s Impressionist style descends through the French tradition to the California tradition, which she learned from her instructors Richard Meryman, Douglass Parshall (1899-­1990) and Clarence Hinkle (1880-­1960).

Sullivan Goss will feature the Abbott showing on 1st Thursday, 5-­8 pm., Feb. 2. For more information, visit www.sullivangoss.com.
— Nathan Vonk for Sullivan Goss.


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