oxford gallery

Phyllis Bryce Ely

Phyllis Bryce ElyNight Beach, oil on linen, 41 by 48 inches

Phyllis Bryce ElyAlhambra Through Orange Trees, oil on canvas, 16 by 20 inches

Like that of her artistic forebears, particularly the American artist Milton Avery and the “Group of Seven” Canadian artists, Bryce Ely’s art is an art of subtraction. Natural forms have been stripped to bare essentials, communicating to us more as ideograms in saturated color than as actual representations. Trees become small conical shapes or harsh cragged lines, hills and mountains are large curvilinear mounds, storm clouds are billowing masses of dark hue, and ice formations are jagged areas of white. The artist provides only the information required to project a mood or suggest a topography. A fundamental strength of her style, the artist requires that viewers take some responsibility for completing the image, filling in the details from their personal reserves of memory and imagination.

But Bryce Ely’s intent is not to merely translate the natural world into abstract geometries. Quite the opposite. In removing the incidental details, the artist reveals the powerful forces underlying the natural scene. The impulsive lines of the artist’s paint application mimic the energies implicit in her theme.

In the swooping lines of the hills, the swirling masses of water, the flowing contours of the land, or the crashing pinnacles of ice, we sense a power of nature which belittles man and his pretensions. An apt illustration is the large oil entitled “Skiddaw Mountain.” Here the delicate rectilinear lines of the building are set within the plunging masses of the surrounding hills, which seemingly threaten to obliterate it. Similarly, in “High Falls with Red,” the swirling mass of the river appears to burst its banks and threatens to overwhelm the fragile works of man. In Bryce Ely’s depictions of the natural world, nothing is fixed, everything is in motion.

A resident of the Rochester area, Phyllis earned her BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology. She works in both oil and encaustic, at times combining wax and oil media in a single work. She enjoys painting out of doors in all seasons and is a member of the Genesee Valley Plein Air Painters, though many of her paintings begun en plein aire are finished upon reflection in her studio. Phyllis has exhibited throughout the United States and extensively in New York state.

Phyllis Bryce ElyOctober, East Penfield, pastel on paper, 9.5 by 12.5 inches

Phyllis Bryce ElySkiddaw Mountain, oil on linen, 42 by 48 inches

Phyllis Bryce ElyHigh Falls with Red, oil on linen, 24 by 48 inches

Phyllis Bryce ElyCold Front Passing Through, encaustic on panel, 8 by 16 inches

Phyllis Bryce ElyCanandaigua Moon and the Willow, pastel on canvas

Phyllis Bryce ElyNight Ice and Moon

Phyllis Bryce ElyView from Farview Golf Course, oil on canvas, 10 by 10 inches

Phyllis Bryce ElyKeuka Shore

Prices available on request