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The Essence of Forest Reception

November 9, 2013 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Few artists cover as much ground for their artwork as Ventura painter Robert Wassell, who has hiked Los Padres National Forest ridges and canyons for decades collecting the views he captures in oil on canvas.

Twenty-nine of his landscape paintings comprise “The Essence of the Forest,” an exhibition Nov. 5-Dec. 7 at the nonprofit Buenaventura Art Association’s gallery in downtown Ventura. “This show is all new work never seen before,” Wassell said.

An opening reception will be held 4-7 p.m. Nov. 9 at the gallery and Wassell also will be on hand 5-8 p.m. Dec. 6 for Ventura’s First Friday gallery crawl.

Propelled by “my love for the forest,” he has been traversing Channel Islands and Los Padres trails since moving to the area in 1985. Wassell names his works for the locations where he makes sketches that he later paints in an idiosyncratic style he described as “a cross between realistic representation and the abstract.”

He renders landforms and vegetation in a unique visual shorthand that conveys the feel of his trail viewpoints in bold, colorful strokes. A prolific painter for 43 years, Wassell said his favorite part of creating art is the adventure of searching for the scenes to paint.

Results of his frequent past treks can be seen online at http://www.wassellart.com.

Wassell’s newest works will be exhibited at the Buenaventura Gallery, 700 E. Santa Clara St., which is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

For more information about his show or the regional artists’ cooperative, visit the BAA’s website, http://www.buenaventuragallery.org, or call the gallery at 648-1235.