Gallery One artists explore ‘The Color Purple’

Gallery One in Ocean View this week announced the theme of its January/February exhibit: “The Color Purple,” which will be open to the public Jan. 3 through Feb. 27, 2019.

Purple has been seen symbolically as the color of royalty, power and mystery, with different shades of purple having different meanings and evoking different feelings and energies in the viewer. Artist Lesley McCaskill’s acrylic painting “A Favorite Color” speaks to both of those aspects.

“Symbolically, purple was worn by the royals, as it was an expensive dye only the ruling class could afford. For the young, I see it as dreamlike, with fairytales depicting the princess in lavender gowns and the witch in a dark menacing violet, which is perfect for fantasy. I have noticed over the years, as a mother and a teacher, that many young girls love the color purple!”

For an artist, purple can be a deep, dark tone that can be lightened into many values, or a rich dark, great for shadows and delightful for modeling a form. One nightshade vegetable characterizes the essence of purple in “Eggplant & Celery,” an acrylic painting by Joyce Condry.

“Purple is a color you see hints of in shadows, skies and distant landscapes,” Condry said,  “but it’s not often seen as the predominant hue. The exception may be in the color of a few flowers and fruits, or my grandmother’s Sunday-go-to-meeting dress, but the most vibrant purple exists in the eggplant.”

Lavender in the landscape is center stage in “Fourth Street Snow,” Marybeth Patterson’s oil painting.

“It’s always hard to say goodbye to summer, but winter skies provide spectacular sunsets and wonderful shades of violet. My painting caught one of those purple sky days, playing with the contrast and colors I saw in the snow in my Lewes neighborhood’s beloved Fourth Street Forest.”

“Lavender Morning,” an acrylic painting by Jan Moffatt, highlights the majesty of lavender fields.

“I have visited many at different times of day and in different seasons,” she noted.

“Open, Ocean View” is a pastel by Laura Hickman and reflects the way purple mysteriously and magically injects itself into our perception with the changing light. The painting is a view of what is now the Ocean View Deli, back in the late 1990s. Even though the building was a grey color, it appeared to be a dark bluish purple — a color that is complementary to the warm yellows of the interior lights and the fading colors of the winter sunset.

“Purple Mountain Majesty,” a watercolor painting by Pat Riordan, was inspired by the song “America the Beautiful.” The reflections show only the violet images of the mountains above the fruited plain.

“Spring Irises in Tuscany” is an acrylic painting by Dale Sheldon.

“Each year when the purple irises begin to bloom, you know a new season has begun. This Tuscan scene is infused with purple from the irises in the foreground inviting you to visually enter the scene and wander through the vineyards, to the slightly purple hills in the far background.”

Michelle Marshall’s acrylic painting “Violet Cloud over the Bay” reflects that moment when color and atmosphere combine to create some violet magic. The setting is late summer, with a vibrantly green marsh and a lavender cloud suspended above it.

“The color purple rarely occurs in nature and, as a result, it’s been said to have sacred meaning — that twilight moment of the day, with its purple cast, has always given me that sense.” Marshall said.

In addition to “The Color Purple,” the gallery’s Artisan Room features textiles, hand-blown glass, pottery, glass jewelry and wood pieces by local artists.

Gallery One is open Thursday through Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is closed on Wednesdays during the winter. It is always staffed by one of the artists. For more information, visit Gallery One’s website at, call (302) 537-5055 or stop in at 32 Atlantic Ave. (Route 26) in Ocean View.