A view of the sublime

02/19/2020

Speed—safely—to the art show at the San Geronimo Community Center, where Connie Smith Siegel’s talent as a landscape artist is on view in the Maurice del Mue Galleries. Smith Siegel sees with some extra vision that seems to create a holographic chamber in front of her paintings. 

Some art is great, but some, like Smith Siegel’s, is sublime. The 18th-century critic Edmund Burke put sublime on the aesthetics map with this: “The passion caused by the great and the sublime in nature, when those causes operate most powerfully, is Astonishment; and astonishment is that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended...”

We are startled to feel her magically rendered trees, brooks and mountains. Like Monet, whose brushwork captured light as somehow more than real, the aliveness of Smith Siegel’s scenes corresponds deeply and finely to our own.

Born and raised in Colorado, Smith Siegel has been a Woodacre resident for 35 years and has taught internationally, but her long spells spent plein-air painting on location in Colorado and California also took up a good bulk of that time. In addition to fine art, she has made pioneering contributions to the art-and-healing field, including innovations in color therapy. She has authored three books, “The Spirit of Drawing,” “The Spirit of Color,” and “The Healing Spirit of Drawing and Color.” The exhibit shows through Feb. 27.