Portland artist Gwen Davidson returns to Froelick Gallery with her latest series of collaged painted works titled Back to the Sea. Her meticulous process begins by applying built-up layers of acrylic color to paper, which expands or shrinks, warps, or otherwise interacts with her media in interesting ways. “I do not have to control the imagery;” she says of this stage, “it emerges”. She then cuts these papers in to strips and slats from which she composes abstracted landscapes intersecting with waterways; the brushstrokes contained within the sharply delineated edges of her paper margins together describe rocky shores, basalt walls, inlets, open water, stretches of beach and gradient skies. Myriad blues and earth tones abound, augmented with sparse striations of autumnal reds and ambers.
While most of the paintings in Back to the Sea depict the Oregon Coast, there are a few that are set along the Columbia River Gorge, marking both Davidson's return to cherished past subject but also to a tracing of waterways as they flow to their ultimate destination.