In the Norris Gallery, Donald Crocker and Geoff Mitchell brings together two
artists from very different backgrounds and aesthetics. However, they share a
fascination with form and are both invested in the mystery of image-making,
giving them a unique thread of commonality, said Scott Canty, Palos Verdes Art Center
exhibitions director. Painting from real life, Donald Crocker reflects the
natural beauty of the landscape, while in his abstract paintings, Geoff
Mitchell creates a visual language, using a variety of images to evoke memory
and uncover hidden meanings.
The early California
Impressionists, with their emphasis on capturing the amazing beauty of natural
light, are Crocker’s muses. A native Californian, he paints scenes of
land, sea and sky from Palos Verdes north to Santa Barbara.
“The lighting for
my painting is often before the sun’s direct rays have yet warmed the
earth, or when it is mostly done with its day’s work,” he said,
noting that he often paints outdoors at sunrise or sunset or by moonlight.
Mitchell collects images
the way a lexicographer collects words. As words combine to form sentences and
paragraphs, his images layer and string together in ways that transform and
transcend their individual meanings to define larger experiences. The result
uncovers hidden relationships and narratives.
In creating his montages
of interwoven images that may, on the surface, appear illogical, Mitchell says:
“I find it to be a most rewarding process that never ceases to bring a
surprise. When I can fully let go of any fear of the random, the nonsensical
and the unknown, I find a way of arriving at conclusions I could have never