NORTH ADAMS -- "Scratching the Surface," oil paintings by Lydia Johnston and ceramics by Lori St. Pierre, runs at the NAACO Gallery, Sept. 26 to Nov. 25, with an opening reception Sept. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Vermont artist Johnston’s new landscapes are complex and full of vitality. Johnston, best known for her vibrant use of color, has been incorporating carved lines and printed patterns in her new body of work. Johnston applies multiple layers of oil paint, using both transparent and opaque colors, to achieve richness and depth. Some of the paintings in this show have an arched wall or trellis with flowers, from which you look out across an intriguing landscape. A number of smaller pieces have an urban sensibility created by overlaying printed patterns.
Johnston works with wide color shapers, instead of brushes, that give her work its distinctive look. In addition, she carves marks into the wet paint with the edge of these tools, as well as printing patterns on the surface. All of these markings bring alive the skies and grounds of her landscapes.
The NAACO Gallery is located at 33 Main St. (diagonally across from Mass MoCA).
The gallery is open Monday, and Wednesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed Tuesday.