//Ad libs: Scarlet summer

Monday, August 04, 2008

Scarlet summer

A friend in L.A. emailed me to ask: "Are the fires in your area out? The air quality must really stink." Insult, meet injury.

But the sky is placid today, and the most sweltering thing in front of me is a painting called "Red Hot." And a pastel called "Red Hot Summer Night." Both by artists named Terri.

This month, the 14 artists at Viewpoints Gallery all decided to create works in red. I thought the results would look like an explosion in a tomato factory, except that tomatoes don't come from factories. Nice mix, though, with Terri Hill's visual ode to movie sweets, Sue Lyttle's splashy "Beach Umbrellas," and the subtlety of Floy Zittin's "Redwing & Night Heron."

Nature doesn't have to shout to make a point (a redder redwing might get eaten like that), and when she does, there's often something wrong. The rush of "Red Hot Summer Night" is seductive, but it does call to mind forest fires and the flashiest sunsets I've seen in years.

Pictured: "Red Hot Summer Night" by Terri Ford.