Galleries : Andrew Moore's vision of the natural world
If Andrew Moore weren't a successful realist painter, he might have been a scientist - scrutinizing, dissecting, analyzing, and reporting about life, its composition, how it thrives and what it looks like in its minutiae. Instead, Mr. Moore chose the artist's path, one that meanders along the New England coast, on trails through woods and by sea. As such, he uses a finely tuned eye to record his version of life in his own meticulous and magical way, in oils and watercolors. He is regarded as a Vineyard artist on a separate tier, one whose gift for capturing the beauty of the Island is spoken of in reverent tones.
On Saturday, July 25, with a reception from 5 to 7 pm, Mr. Moore will open his gallery in Oak Bluffs for one of his infrequent and long-awaited shows. Every three years, or as soon as he has enough work to fill the gallery walls he invites the public in to the intimate gallery adjacent to his home in Harthaven, just off Beach Road.
"I used to open the gallery every year, then every two years," Mr. Moore says, "but each year my work seems to grow more complex. It can take up to six months now to complete a single painting, so I need three years to create a large enough body of work to show."
This year, the show consists of 15 paintings, the majority in oil, the balance in watercolor, as well as a selection of limited edition prints. His subject matter, he says, is part of his life: places he's been or visits often - the Island waters, beaches and woodlands, as well as scenes from the southern end of Penobscot Bay, Maine, where his mother's family has summered for decades.
Not just recording, but interpreting the natural landscape, Mr. Moore says his work begins with the abstract: a concept of what he has seen, the colors, tonal quality and a perspective only his imagination can create.
"People say, 'It looks just like a photograph,'" he explains. "But it's deceiving. To capture the scene in my painting, you might need to tape together 15 photographs. I use the information I see, but rebuild it and interweave it with other objects."
Tradition and history are key elements in Mr. Moore's works. His mother is a lifelong artist and art teacher; his father an architect. His paternal great, great grandfather, Nelson Augustus Moore, was a noted painter from the Hudson River School, influential in shifting the focus in American painting from Europe to the domestic landscape. In 1894, he came to the Vineyard for the first time and began a Moore family tradition of summering here.