A lot of smaller galleries will put the most striking of their works, whether it’s sculptures, paintings or jewelry, in windows to try and encourage pedestrians to come in and explore. While I was walking down Newbury Street in Boston, sniffling in the rain, this is exactly what happened to me outside of Martin Laurence Gallery.
Felix Mas’s work is dreamlike and full of wonder. His subjects, mostly beautiful females, are rendered in a light and airy fashion, blending into more starkly colored backdrops. This is the opposite of what I’m used to seeing, which is artists who use bright bold colors to make their subjects stand out against a softer background.
Nature is a recurring theme in these paintings. Many of his subjects are adorned with shells, feathers, leaves, but others are dressed simply in flowing fabrics as to not take away from their rich surroundings. His colors are so rich and warm, perhaps because he actually mixes his own paint, using oils and pigments.
His paintings stood out to me more than usual because of the grey weather we were experiencing. Looking at them, I found time slipping by very quickly as I was drawn into them, exploring, learning. He takes a lot of time to ensure that every color is perfectly blended. I love how his subjects sometimes appear foggy; it makes me want to look at the painting harder to sort of… draw them out.
I especially like the luminescent qualities in his paintings involving water or sparkling fabrics. These kinds of techniques are taught in traditional painting schools and are something I really look forward to learning.
All of Mas’s subjects appear relaxed and serene in their settings, giving a peaceful feeling to all of his work. His use of exquisite, deep colors, female form, patterns and wildlife make for enticing paintings that beckon the viewer in.
I learned a little something extra through his work: the difference between lithographs and serigraphs (which I’d never heard of previously). Lithographs are high quality digital prints of paintings, while serigraphs are a much more complicated screen print. Different screens are made for each color, producing hundreds of screens which are then hand-pressed onto the material of choice (in this instance, canvases). This is the closest thing to an original painting that one could buy, much better quality than a lithograph but also much more expensive.