While differing in media preferences, one thing local painter Renée Kelleher and pastelist Jim Tyler have in common is an appreciation of light and shadow.
"Jim has such a beautiful use of light in his pastels. I try to capture contrast in lights and darks, as well, in my oil paintings," Kelleher said. "We both push color, so our works complement each other quite well, I feel.
- COURTESY IMAGE BY RENÉE KELLEHER
- IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO A collection of oil paintings by Renée Kelleher (whose piece, Sunset Reflections Madrid, is pictured here) is currently hanging alongside several pastel pieces by fellow artist Jim Tyler in a duo show at Gallery Los Olivos, titled Inside/Outside.
"I believe the fact that we paint in two different media enhances our show," added Kelleher, whose works are paired alongside Tyler's in a new duo exhibition, Inside/Outside, at Gallery Los Olivos.
As the show's title might suggest, outdoor landscapes—which both artists have become well known for—aren't the only pieces on display. While some of Tyler's latest exteriors use the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes, Montaña de Oro, and other coastal locales as their backdrops, exhibit visitors will be just glances away from the interiors of a French chapel Kelleher painted during a trip to Madrid.
"While a lot of artists just focus on one subject, like local landscapes, we both paint everything—figures, city scenes, floral, still life, as well as landscapes from California and from our travels," said Tyler, a prolific member of SLOPE (San Luis Outdoor Painters for the Environment) and other regional painting groups. "That was the basis for our new show. We wanted to show that a consistent painting style applies to any subject."
Tyler called the new duo exhibit a "very cohesive show," as both artists' works fit under the umbrella of impressionistic realism. Kelleher agreed.
- COURTESY IMAGE BY JIM TYLER
- HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE “While a lot of artists just focus on one subject, like local landscapes, we both paint everything—figures, city scenes, floral, still life, as well as landscapes from California and from our travels,” said pastelist Jim Tyler, referring to the diverse range of subjects found in both Renée Kelleher’s body of work and his own. Pictured: Heat.
"Our styles are very much alike in our representational way of painting," Kelleher said. "But more than that, we both have tremendous diversity of subject matter whether we are painting in our studios or en plein air. We are not just plein air landscape painters. I believe that we both are thinking outside that box."
Kelleher's goal with her oil paintings is for viewers to experience specific yet candid moments in time, whether it's simply sitting in traffic during a sunset or finding an abandoned bird nest in your backyard.
"Each one is unique and a work of art in itself," Kelleher said of the bird nests, which she's been continuously discovering on her property and painting recently. Viewers will be able to find these still life pieces in the non-landscape section of Inside/Outside.
"About half of our works are landscapes and are displayed on two adjoining walls. The non-landscape pieces are on two other adjoining walls," Tyler said, commenting on the layout of the exhibit, which will remain on display through July 31.
As members of Gallery Los Olivos, Tyler and Kelleher also take occasional shifts running the gallery, assisting guests and handling sales during the exhibit's run. About 2 1/2 years ago, Kelleher first met Tyler at the gallery shortly after he had become a new member. That day, she showed her future Inside/Outside partner the ins and outs of managing the venue.
- COURTESY IMAGE BY RENÉE KELLEHER
- TAKE ME TO CHURCH “Just before COVID-19 hit, my husband and I had visited Madrid and the south of France, so I painted the small chapels and cathedrals we visited there,” Renée Kelleher said, commenting on one of her interior scenes, Chapel in Madrid, featured in Inside/Outside.
"We spent a day together at the gallery as she showed me the procedures for running the gallery and recording sales," Tyler said. "We really hit it off that day, and we discovered that we both like painting a variety of subjects."
About a week before Inside/Outside closes, Tyler will be hosting a live painting demonstration at Gallery Los Olivos on July 26. He's also hosting a similar event just the day before, at Park Street Gallery in Paso Robles (July 25), where Tyler regularly holds free pastel demos at least three times a month, he said.
In comparison to the pandemic-related ups and downs of the past year and a half, one thing Tyler has noticed lately, and has been feeling grateful for, is people flocking back to in-person art exhibits and sales again.
"We've seen an upswing in visitors and buyers," Tyler said "People are ready to get out of their houses after the COVID-19 restrictions, and they're also ready to bring back new art to their homes." Δ
Calendar Editor Caleb Wiseblood could use some new wall art. Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the arts story, "Portraits, music, and stories" (July 15), New Times incorrectly stated Jordan Martinez's title. She was a producer for R.A.C.E. Matters SLO's Belonging project. We regret the error.