Contrasting Visions: Ann Lofquist and Marcia Burtt

Ann Lofquist

Ann Lofquist

November 12-January 15, 2011

Opening on Saturday, November 12, with a reception from 5:00 to 7:00, Marcia Burtt Gallery presents new paintings by Ann Lofquist and Marcia Burtt. This exhibition provides a unique chance to compare their distinctly different visions and methods. Among the new paintings will be plein air sketches of the same scenes painted by Lofquist and Burtt as they explored California coast and ranchlands for inspiration.

After living in New England for twenty years, Lofquist relocated to California in 2008. Her realistic style and fascination with a singular objects, be it a tree, a ridge, or structures at sunset, imbue her California landscapes with an atmospheric serenity and warmth. For Lofquist, “A painting begins with a search for a subject which moves me—one which usually involves driving many miles along backcountry roads seeking the right combination of terrain and atmosphere.” Stands of old-growth sycamores and oaks or the transition between suburban sprawl and California’s native chaparral fill her recent works.

“Urban subjects reflect the surroundings of my own community, where new housing tracts abut dry landscape still teeming with rattlesnakes, coyotes, and mountain lions. The juxtaposition of the enduring and the ephemeral, a favorite subject of mine, is everywhere in evidence in Southern California.”

Painting in acrylic as opposed to Lofquist’s oils, Burtt is drawn to qualities of color and light and how they form changing abstract patterns throughout the day. Burtt’s paintings rely on bold, expressive brush strokes. She focuses with great intensity on every subtlety of changing light. “Making a painting, for me, is a process of studying a subject over a period of hours or days. Eliciting meaning from a random collection of natural objects requires imposing structure while at the same time receptively seeing in a sensual way.  This dance between perception and intellect to create an object that holds a unique communication is the great joy of being a landscape painter.”

Marcia Burtt

Marcia Burtt


Ann Lofquist (b.1964-) is a painter whose landscapes resonate with a strong sense of place. Her intimate views capture transitory moments in time such as twilight, dusk, and dawn. Human yearnings and philosophical queries into our relationship with nature are all expressed through her exquisite rendition of form and light.

Like her historical predecessors in the French Barbizon School and the 19th-century American painter George Inness, Lofquist shares in the romantic search for meaning through an intimate and nuanced portrayal of nature's changing light and mood. By continually revisiting the same sites and drawing new subtleties from her motif, Lofquist's paintings speak to the transcendental experience of nature, its inherent spirituality, and to the importance of maintaining harmony between the natural and manmade worlds. Human presence, subtly included in all Lofquist's work, is kept to a minimum in order to prevent the intrusion of any specific psychology.

Despite their calm and objective presence, Lofquist's paintings are imbued with a sense of the sublime that is as much a function of her artistic imagination and memory as it is of external reality. She paints directly from the subject on small wooden panels in short, single sessions, then returns to her studio and uses these small sketches as source material for large studio paintings that take months to complete and often deviate from the original scene considerably.

Ann Lofquist received her master of fine arts degree from Indiana University in 1990. From 1990 to 1996, she was an assistant professor of art at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. She has had numerous solo exhibitions in New York and New England, and has shown at Hackett-Freedman, San Francisco; Spanierman Gallery, New York; Tatistcheff Gallery, New York; Winfield Gallery, Carmel, California; and Gross/McLeaf Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She has been the recipient of several fellowships and awards, and was included in The Artist and the American Landscape, by John Driscoll (1998). She currently resides in Ventura County, California.

Marcia Burtt Gallery