Gallery One to explore ‘Dark Shadows’ in October exhibit

Gallery One in Ocean View this week announced the theme of its October show, “Dark Shadows,” which will be open to the public Oct. 2-30.

“This month’s theme at Gallery One is not as ominous as it sounds,” gallery representatives assured. “Artists have long embraced the shape and mood creating beauty of shadow. The play of light against dark helps to define the dimensions and heightens the drama of both the individual elements in a painting as well as the overall mood of the composition.”

Joyce Condry’s acrylic painting this month, “Southern Exposure,” exemplifies such ideas, as the play of cool blue shadows against a warm creamy white background creates a color drama while the negative space created by the shadows actually defines the leafy subject of the painting.

As Condry described the scene, it was a magical surprise, “When I placed the plant near a south-facing living room window, I was thinking of its health rather than art. It was a wonderful surprise in mid-morning to see that the plant’s reflection on an adjoining wall had created its own shadow painting.”

In a similar way, Rina Thaler’s watercolor painting, “Fenced In,” has highlighted the shadow painting done in the sand by the snow fencing along the dunes. Thaler said she was intrigued by the abstract design of the shadows coming from the beach fence, and the way it looked like it was dancing across the sand.

Laura Hickman’s pastel painting, “Cutting Zinnias,” turns the shadows created by the flower petals into an exuberant celebration of color. Painting after cutting zinnias on a bright, sunny day, she said she felt that the colors made a bold contrast with the surrounding background and the dark shadows cast by the vase and flowers.

Lesley McCaskill’s watercolor painting, “Fall Dressing,” pays tribute to autumnal beauty. An annual delight for artist McCaskill is gazing upon this delicate tree each year as its distinctive foliage stands in contrast to the dense wooded area behind it. The contrast makes the oranges and yellows seem to glow from within, she said.

Marybeth Paterson’s oil painting, “Lewes Farmer’s Market Fare,” and Mary Bode Byrd’s watercolor painting, “Retired Tobacco Barn,” both have a very classical approach to the artistic principles of balancing and painting with darks and lights, allowing the shadows to define the shapes and create the structural design of the painting.

For Paterson, “Working from negative space to positive space in this still life brought out some great ‘dark shadows’ within and around my flowers and fruit. These ‘Bennett’s peaches’ in real life have been the best, and I love how lush they look in this painting, even if these are sadly the last of the season!”

For Byrd, the subject of her painting was more historically- and family-oriented.

“While traveling in South Carolina — Byrd Town to be exact — I was captivated by this retired tobacco barn. When my husband was a boy, he worked in a barn like this for his grandmother, it was hot and dark, but smelled great and provided a living for his eight uncles and grandmother.”

Dale Sheldon’s acrylic painting “Serengeti Shadows” glows with vibrant yellows offset by deep shadows that create a dramatic path for the eye through the painting. Sheldon described her title by saying, “If I were a lion, I would look for a place here to relax and stay cool, in the dark shadows under the trees. It would also be a perfect place to hide in the wide-open spaces of the Serengeti.”

Gallery One is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is always staffed by an artist. It is located at 32 Atlantic Avenue (Route 26) in Ocean View. For more information, call (302) 537-5055 or visit