ARTISTS COLLECTIVE | SPARTANBURG

Reflections and Substance

Patrick DeCrane and Gale Roberts

Veteran artist Patrick DeCrane and relative newcomer to the art scene Gale Roberts have teamed up for an exhibition of their artwork May 4 through 29, 2021, in Gallery II of the Artists Collective | Spartanburg.

The exhibition, “Reflections and Substance,” should provide viewers with a window into the everyday world as well as a reflection of what’s beyond, the Upstate artists say. The exhibition includes watercolors by DeCrane and acrylic paintings by Roberts. A reception is scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m. May 20 in the gallery.

“There are often reflections in everything we see each day, and we don’t notice them,” says DeCrane. “Stop. Look closely. What reflections do you see beyond your initial view?”

DeCrane, a member of the Artists Collective | Spartanburg since 2016, was inspired to do the exhibit to “challenge my watercolor skills. Painting a window is simple. Painting a reflection in a window requires more skill. This is also true with painting a wine glass with reflections.”

Roberts has been painting only about three years, and the works in the show represent her creations over the past two years. “I enjoy painting, and I hope others will enjoy what I’ve painted. They will see birds, animals and other things that put a smile on my face and make me feel good. I hope the viewers will get the same warm feelings I had while I was painting them.”

DeCrane’s pieces for the exhibit were created over the past year and include some subjects that are characteristic of much of his works, such as classic cars and vintage items, “but the skill and depth in creating my work is a departure of what I have done previously. Once I had the idea, I had to spend some time searching for the subjects. Once I found my subjects, I had to challenge my art skills to get the depth and substance.”

This was DeCrane’s first attempt to on black watercolor paper. “I’m pleased with most of the results,” he says, adding that he hopes his works will give viewers “a better appreciation of watercolors and I hope they will have some satisfaction in discovering something in each painting that they didn’t notice before. I hope people will walk away with a sense of pleasure and appreciation for watercolors.”

DeCrane, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, who moved to South Carolina in 2015, began his formal art education in high school. During his military career, he traveled and studied art at numerous colleges. After retiring from the U.S. Army, he worked for the Military Officers Association for 11 years. He then opened, owned and operated a bed and breakfast for 10 years with his life partner, Michael Thomas. Ready to retire after three careers, Patrick continued to expand his art skill by taking classes in pastels and most recently watercolors. He was chairperson of the Bowling Green Arts Commission in Bowling Green, Va., and set up and managed The Sidney King Art Center and coordinated three art events a year.

“I have been painting and drawing most of my adult life,” says DeCrane, who two grown children and three grandchildren. He and Thomas live in Greer, S.C., with their “loyal” West Highland terrier Mysie.

“While I enjoy painting with acrylics and pastels, I find watercolors the most enjoyable,” DeCrane says. “I also find great satisfaction in drawing with pencil and charcoal.”

Roberts, a native of Pennsylvania, retired to the Greenville area several years ago. She says she decided to exhibit because her good friend DeCrane suggested she join him in the show. “I think the Artists Collective | Spartanburg is a good place to exhibit. I have attended a few exhibits there and they have all been well done with a good following. From what I have experienced by attending exhibits and from my friend, they represent the local art well.”

“We have artists who display a variety of media in their art,” DeCrane says of the Artists Collective. “Everyone is friendly and supportive in many of our endeavors. I am grateful to have this opportunity to exhibit at ACS.”

Both DeCrane and Roberts will have pieces available for purchase, ranging in price from $25 to $300.

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