Passion & Petals by Dorothy Siemens

The Colborne Art Gallery Presents: “Passion and Petals” – Paintings by Dorothy Siemens
April 16 to May 22, 2016

Opening Reception

Saturday April 16, 2016 from 2 to 4 PM

Dorothy SiemensSometimes it only takes a small spark of an idea to ignite a fervid blaze of creativity. Like a love affair, this burst of productivity can be both passionate and tender.

Such are the two sides to painter Dorothy Siemens’ upcoming exhibition, “Passion and Petals” opening at The Colborne Art Gallery on April 16. The exhibition will feature new works from her two series, Appassionato and Softly Floral. Two foundations of romantic love are explored in these paintings, the passionate and the sentimental.

Appassionato is an Italian musical term which means to perform with great emotion. The term is well suited to this series, which proclaims its adoration through rich colours and sensual plant forms. Vivid reds, effervescent blues and opulent golds come together in patterns and textures that pulsate with vivacious energy. Siemens handles this subject deftly, achieving a richness of textures and patterns suggesting tapestries of silks and velvets, attaining flamboyance without venturing into the lurid or the gaudy.

In contrast, Softly Floral invokes the dreamy atmosphere of love. The viewer fairly floats in the sense of space conjured within these compositions. Soft textures built up of aquatic hues drift into focus, revealing flowers and leaves in semi-abstract patterns, like subconscious thoughts floating to the surface. These paintings induce delightful reveries, of lovers walking through gardens in the rain, oblivious to all but each other’s company. They are meditative, contemplative pieces, both tranquil and lively. And like all of Siemens’ work, they are skillfully rendered with her unique painting techniques.

Dorothy Siemens has developed her skills through many creative channels. From graphic design and illustration, to needle arts and fine beadwork, she now focusses on painting. Her move from Toronto to Port Hope, and her discovery of mixing oil paint with cold wax medium coincided to stimulate her bold and expressive style. Applying paint with palette knives and rollers, layering colours, scrubbing and scratching to produce textures, patterns and images, as well as drawing with oil sticks or painting fine detail by brush with fluid oils, Siemens builds up compositions that are complex and exceptionally pleasing to the eye. Her influences include many contemporary artists, however her main inspirations are found among the natural surroundings of her Port Hope studio.

Love can be daring and challenging, as lovers face many trials to achieve their aspirations. In this matter, Siemens is also communicating the very human side to love through her creative process. Appassionato began as a dare to herself to create an all-red painting. Siemens was so pleased with the result of her first trial that she created another, which led to yet another and eventually a whole series on this theme. Softly Floral was a challenge to create some works in a softer, more abstracted style than her usual work. The gentle textures and subtle imagery of these paintings are a departure from the artist’s more bold and vibrant style.

So here are two sparks of creativity, advanced into two distinctive series exploring two sides of romantic love. As your own fancy may be turning to thoughts of Spring, you are encouraged to take in this delightful exhibition, which also includes works by the very talented members of The Colborne Art Gallery.

“Passion and Petals” opens on Saturday, April 16, with a reception from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Dorothy Siemens will be giving a short artist’s talk, and other gallery members will be present. All are welcome, admission is free and the gallery is wheelchair accessible. Regular gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, 12 noon to 5:00 pm, and the show runs from April 16 to May 22. For more information, please visit or phone 905-355-1798.

-Monika Devine

Scenes from The Opening Reception

Click on any image to view larger
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Northumberland Today
Colborne Art Gallery exhibit runs until May 22


Passion & Petals Rackcard 2016