About the Exhibit and Artist:
“Seasons and Innocence” is a charming series of oil paintings by Louise Winant. Reflecting on the mysteries of life and human existence, these spiritually emotive scenes explore the nature of joy, innocence, and vulnerability as well as the interdependency of human and non-human animals.
A New England native, Winant studied Art and Psychology at Salem State College before completing her fine art studies at MA College Art in 1984, where she received her BFA in Painting with a concentration in Children’s Literature and Illustration. Having now raised her family, she has just recently returned to her first love and is painting full time.
While born and raised in Lynn (MA), Winant has lived for some time now in Sutton (MA). Thus, it’s evident that much of her work is dually inspired by her familiarity with and love of the Atlantic coast as well as of the pastoral hills and vales of central Massachusetts.
Historic artists who have influenced her painting include French impressionist Pierre Bonnard; American Modernist John Marin; and iconic American realist painters, the Wyeths.
“Although my subject matter has changed over the years, some elements have remained constant. Color is my primary voice and I work almost exclusively in oil. I think of my recent paintings as small stories of the heart and mind. Some are cautionary, some joyful and some just questioning. I often paint using animals, such as in my recent dog pictures and before that, crows made a strong presence. I think dogs represent our humanity, or at least my humanity in facing a variety of situations from dependency and frailty, to hope and even perhaps, to a bit of joy.
I have titled this show Seasons and Innocence, reflecting on themes that I have been thinking about lately; the innocence reflected in a child’s expression or a dog’s eyes as it looks to its master, inviting the viewer into that relationship of responsibility and trust, trust that is either given or denied. Sometimes my paintings have been described as emotive. If they are, they are expressing feelings that I cannot put into words.
Home for instance is a picture of a Black Labrador Retriever, almost invisible in the painting. He is the color of the stormy sea and almost disappears at the painting’s edge. The overwhelming feeling it gives me is the mystery of unknowing; of passages from life to death and death to life. Sometimes my paintings are just that, pictures created for the pure pleasure of painting itself but my larger works mostly develop over time into something of a dialogue between myself and the image. It is as if the painting takes on a life of its own and begins to express thoughts and ideas that I haven’t consciously intended, and in that sense, they can surprise me unexpectedly.” (Louise Winant)