There is a sense of art as a love letter to West Marin in Susan Hall’s current exhibition of new paintings and ceramics at Toby’s Gallery. In a style pared down to elemental form and layers of color, she portrays local landscapes, seascapes and animals with startling luminosity. The images convey the warmth of summer hills, the crisp chill of wind over water or the quiet of the coming evening light; all transmit a deep reverence for place. She framed her paintings in recycled wood to emphasize the unpretentious authenticity of the work. Her ceramics—platters, plates and large vessels—are at once handsome, practical, decorative and playful.
Hall is an artist, ceramicist and author with an interesting life story. She grew up in the Point Reyes Station of the 40s and 50s: an isolated country town unlike the hub of activity it is today. Her talent took her out into the world to work with some of the foremost artists of our time. She participated in the blossoming 1950s and ’60s art scene in New York City, and she has received national awards, taught in prestigious universities and shown her work in major museums. Yet the landscape of her childhood called her back home, where the beauty of the land and water, the small community and the vibrant art scene allow her to explore her intellectual, physical and artistic callings. She lives in the house where her parents lived, with her husband, Steve, and their black greyhound. It’s a stroll through the garden to her art studio.
This is the last weekend of the exhibition, which closes on Tuesday, Oct. 31. It is a special gift to see current works by a committed and productive artist exhibited in her own community.
Elia Haworth is an artist who has lived in Bolinas for over four decades.