Portland native Laura Ross-Paul returns to Froelick Gallery with her latest exhibit, titled Urban Forest. These paintings and monoprints, which are to be arranged in a large salon-style installation, draw much influence from the trees and plantlife of her surroundings. Working in a bold color palette in which she combines oil, wax and watercolor media, she paints reaching boughs in red and blue; dark, solid trunks surrounded by dense beds of white; hazy distances in pink and yellow; bursts of foliage in an array of greens.
Known as a largely figurative painter, Ross-Paul shifted her focus by thinking of trees as figures themselves- as “individual conifer and deciduous citizens”, inseparable from the life of her city. People are present in some works, many of them solitary in wooded surroundings. She considers the expressions someone might adopt while alone in the forest; their faces register serenity, awe, distraction, while others gaze into a mobile device, connected to something other than the beauty of their immediate environment.