If you go
What: Opening reception for new gallery artist Will Day
When: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday
Where: K. Saari Gallery at Vertical Arts, 690 Marketplace Plaza
Other: Day’s art is large, abstract oil and acrylic paintings that evoke the changing seasons. After the reception, there will be an “Art After Party” at the Powder Room in Torian Plum Plaza.
Steamboat Springs If you find yourself reflecting on the transitory nature of spring while looking at Will Day’s abstract paintings Friday night, you probably get it.
Day’s oil and acrylic paintings will be on display during an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at K. Saari Gallery at Vertical Arts in Wildhorse Marketplace. Another set of Day’s work will be on display later that night at an “Art After Party” at the Powder Room in Torian Plum Plaza.
Day’s large format paintings (as large as 10 feet wide) are abstract in the tradition of modern masters Jackson Pollock and Clyfford Still. Yet the Boulder artist intends several of his paintings to evoke spring through color combinations and gesture.
The opening reception celebrating K. Saari’s newest gallery artist coincides with that fleeting season in Steamboat Springs when the new aspen leaves are bright translucent green, but only for a few days.
“I’m not a figurative painter. I try to paint in light and shadow,” Day said. “I try to pull together compositions that no one’s ever seen before.”
Day, who has a background in architecture, creates distinctly different series of work. Some of them evoke the controlled spatters of Pollock, and others consist of more densely layered color studies.
Although he acknowledges Pollock’s influence, Day’s work is substantially different — less chaotic and constructed of broader strokes.
He’s apt to deliberately chip and crack those layers to achieve the textural mood he is seeking.
Day always paints on substrates — traditional stretched canvasses that he builds himself and nontraditional surfaces such as wooden doors — that are laid on the floor.
In every case, he avoids an easel. Often, the artist squats with one corner of the canvas in one hand and a nontraditional brush — sometimes a household broom — in the other hand.
Placing his canvas on the floor allows him the top-down view of the world he is after. It also allows Day to paint from every corner of his canvas, raising the question, “What side of the canvas is the top of the painting and what side is the bottom?”
For that specific reason, Day holds off on signing the front of his paintings until they have been purchased — he’s open to his patrons’ own interpretations of the work.
Gallery proprietor Kimberly Saari said Day’s work is a good fit for her space in the same building occupied by architect Brent Vanderbosch, of Vertical Arts.
“This is a dynamic community that loves to see different things,” Saari said. “They want to see a regional artist but something a little edgy sometimes.”
The industrial look of the gallery and it’s gentle northern light flatter the bold colors of Day’s paintings, but gallery-goers will get to see them in a different light later Friday evening, set amidst the warm wood materials of The Powder Room.
Although his work is abstract, the artist acknowledges that certain paintings evoke landscapes of foliage, waterfalls and, in some cases, floral arrangements. But for him, setting out to create an abstract painting is always a process of testing himself.
It’s really a question of, “Do you really trust yourself and believe in yourself,” he said.