Chirping in the Thickets
Nov. 4 – 27, 2022
Reception: Friday, Nov 4, 4-7 pm
Book Signing at Bridgeside Books in Waterbury: Saturday, Nov 5, 11-1
The first half of the show, Creature Habits, consists of miniature paintings made for the children’s book, Off the Wallabies & Other Creature Habits. The book includes short rhyming phrases about various animals in all sorts of places. The illustrations match the whimsy of the verses in their playfulness with color and composition. The text is typed directly onto the 3”x3” squares, on which delicate, colorful scenes are painted in gouache.
The second portion of this show, Freedom Fries, features references to fast food, religion, consumption, energy production, and lots of American flags, as can be seen in just about any American landscape. In contrast to Creature Habits, the theme of these paintings is harder to nail down. Some seem to be critiques of nationalism (and the exceptionalist mindset that may go with it), while others focus more on climate justice. If the themes are a little everywhere in this series, what pulls the paintings together is the joy with which they are painted, the play of color and texture, as is typical in James’s work.