At the Nevada Museum of Art, I was able to see and look at every piece in Phyllis Shafer’s exhibition named I only went for a walk.... Based off of the expedition and regionalist art of naturalist John Muir, every piece of art is a fun mixture of abstract and realistic regionalist landscapes. One of my favorite paintings was Lily Lake (2005).
One thing to comment Phyllis Shafer on in her artwork is her extroadinary use of line and movement in her paintings. Almost nothing in her paintings is completely stagnant. You can feel the movement of the grass in the painting as well as the movement of the water in the rivers and lakes. You can even trace the movement of the wind and clouds in some of her paintings. This is all due to her careful work with painting gesture lines onto her subjects. These lines also give the subject a sense of rhythm and harmony within. For example, some of the rocks, trees, and mountains are painted this way in a few of her paintings. When I see this, I feel as if there is a never ending connection between the powerful forces of nature.
Another thing to compliment Shafer on is her use of color. Her color scheme sticks true to the image she looks at when she is painting, yet Shafer also cleverly pays attention to contrast, lighting, and hue in her paintings. Grass in particular is a fun example to go by. With grass, Shafer goes from using different hues and tints of the color to create a sense of light and shadow to using analogous colors to portray the same thing. She also takes note in using complimentary colors to define good contrast.
Personally, my favorite thing about Phyllis Shafer’s art pieces is her switch from realistic to abstract painting. A lot of Phyllis Shafer’s works are very abstract in design through her use of coloring contour lines. It seems realistic yet looks like something from a cartoon. Overall, Phyllis Shafer is an amazing artist with a talent unlike any other I have seen.