The Gallery opens the fall season with freshly painted landscape scenes of Marin County and San Francisco by Nicholas Coley, a well-known local plein air painter. ArtZone 461 Gallery is one of the few spaces in the City that exhibits and supports exclusively San Francisco and local, Bay Area artists. Coley’s works couldn’t be much more of a fit with the Gallery’s program and the Gallery is pleased to share his fifth solo show at ArtZone 461.
This exhibit presents a delightful selection of colorful works of woods and mountains, ponds and lagoons, brushes and beaches: a full gamut of locations. A few works focus on paths in the Presidio and are the inspiration for the show’s title. Even in a recent painting from Bernal Heights, the expanse of city streets form paths that lead or follow from this San Francisco vantage point.
Coley’s paintings are full of emotions that reside in a place between calmness and exuberance. His ability to capture and express such a range of feelings in color, parallel his role as the father of a two year-old. Coley doesn’t do somber works; regardless, here some of the wooded scenes bear a muted palette that suggest a settling or stillness, verses those that have movement and vibrancy. The stillness is stoic and not static, the work is more about standing tall than standing still. The variety of colors and scenes demonstrates Coley is in the company of artists whose works are described as conversations of light and color; indeed, these may be viewed as light dancing on color.
The artist studied art at L'ecole des Beaux Arts in Aix-en-Provence and at the Marchutz School in Le Tholonet, France. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Painting from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Coley lived, studied, and painted for a year in a Vietnamese Buddhist Monastery in southwestern France. He currently lives and paints the City and works at many spots in Marin. His son Miles keeps the artist and his wife Tracy quite occupied and the paintings are fewer and getting better all the time.