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Martha Rea Baker | Daniel Phill

A Spontaneous Approach

Martha Rea Baker and Daniel Phill

Santa Fe, NM. Owen Contemporary is delighted to announce a duet exhibition featuring new works by Martha Rea Baker and Daniel Phill.

Spontaneous, automatic, instinctive, unplanned, impulsive, unthinking, impromptu -- these are words which come to mind when describing Martha Rea Baker’s painting process. She begins her paintings by intuitively drawing with various marking tools such as charcoal, oil pastel, china marker or fluid paint and continues in this playful state, free from judgement and hesitation as long as possible. She allows the painting to have a life of its own where each brushstroke, line and layer informs the next.

The composition of Baker’s work is land and nature based and often site specific. Her rich textural surface is achieved through the layering process. By incising lines, adding marks or scraping back to reveal what lies beneath a history is created in the painting, enhancing the depth and meaning of the work.

"I don't know of anyone who can capture the luminous light of New Mexico as Martha Rea Baker. She is in love with her environment and it shows in every piece she creates. In addition to light, Martha is inspired by mesas and cliffs, crumbling walls and the passage of time” writes Serena Barton in Wabi-Sabi: Painting in Cold Wax.

Martha Rea Baker attended the University of Mississippi and received her Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Daniel Phill’s paintings are created from his abstracted interpretations of the natural world. It is an ongoing reimagining of vegetation, flowers and the landscape. The artist relies heavily on intuition, trusting in the gestures and mark making that come with a spontaneous approach. The color palette and composition of these paintings are also affected by what he sees from his studio—looking out to the nearby bay.

The images blend and melt into each other through the application of broad strokes and swaths of wet-into-wet paint. Multiple layers of translucent color contribute to the overall mood and depth of each piece. Phill aims to create paintings that are organic and unfolding, playing between the boundaries of abstraction and representation.

The paintings are also influenced by repeated travels to the lush green environs of the Pacific Northwest—where the artist grew up. He aims to bring optimism and fun into the work, which he is confident that is echoed to the viewer through this visual storytelling.

Daniel Phill received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at San Francisco Art Institute and a Masters of Fine Art at Stanford University

Earlier Event: August 31
Cap Pannell | Stephen Pentak
Later Event: December 14
Size Doesn't Matter Group Exhibition