Work title, date: Late Summer, Red Flowers II, Purple Plus
each 2022; Facing the Sun, 2020
Materials and dimensions: oil on canvas respectively 40" x 30", 32" x 48", 36" x 48"; 30" x40"
Location at Summa: Juve Family Behavioral Health Pavilion, second floor hallway
About the art and the artist:
These oil paintings demonstrate Paul Rowntree's interest in "small sections of the landscape, revealing what is typically hidden..." They do not provide a portrait of each flower so much as of flowers in their natural habitat, doing their thing without regard to human acknowledgement, so sometimes partially hidden or exempted from what we might expect to see or think of as their more characteristic presentation.
Rowntree has always used his painting as a means to capture moments somewhere between realism and illusion: The gloss of the leaves of the red begonia, the sun-filled golden bell of a single blossom, or the intense purple of a cluster of clematis. Certain features the painter will downplay in order to heighten the impact of others: Notice how the clematis leaves, 'though plentiful, lack detail on their surfaces, ceding precedence to the brilliant hue of the three blossoms.
Or notice in Late Summer how the hue of the flowers seems desiccated, and the petals curling and browned at some edges. They slowly lose their prominence in the tangle of leaves, with a preview, in the lower right corner, of even further desiccation and browning (and then we notice the exquisite, bare pistils at the canvas' edge). The artist interprets the approaching end of summer not as something tragic but as part of the normal cycle of seasonal change, and he observes carefully, encouraging us to do the same.
Paul Rowntree graduated from St. Martin's School of Art in London and, after more than 30 years as a graphic designer and illustrator, now spends time in Texas, and the Hudson Valley in New York, while he lives in Worthington (OH) with his wife and their cat. In each locale, he seeks out unusual landscape places where native grasses and reeds offer abundant glimpses of the complexity of nature, their linear forms appealing to his interest in patterns and detail.
Where you can find more work by this artist:
In addition to the artist's website, you can see more of his work on Instagram. Summa Health long ago acquired a series of his paintings of reeds and grasses which may be seen in the Akron Emergency Department, in hallway to the right of the ER Registration area. Rowntree has exhibited work on Martha's Vineyard; in Dallas, Houston, and Midland (TX); in New York, Connecticut, and German Village, (Columbus), and has work in private collections in London (U.K.), Dallas, New York, and Rhode Island, as well as many in Ohio.
Where you can find more works like this:
In the Summa Collection, artists who explore subjects similar to those of Paul Rowntree include Barbara Gillette, Taryn McMahon, Caroline Rowntree, Lynn Jacobs, Dale Chihuly, Gretchen Goss, Patricia Zinsmeister Parker, Don Drum, Talia Hodge, and Phyllis J. ("P.J.") Rogers.