(Above: Humberto Gonzalez’s painting, Butte & Wetland)

By Randi Bjornstad

The latest show at the Karin Clarke Gallery, which runs through April 9, is really two landscape exhibits by two Pacific Northwest artists whose work is definitely distinctive from each other but just as definitely meshes beautifully together.

That’s why the show has two titles: Oregon Landscape: Glimpse and Wonder for Humberto Gonzalez’s work; and The Wild in the Flow for Hart James’ art.

“People are coming in to see it, and they’re ‘Wow’ at the explosion of color,” gallerist Karin Clarke said. “Humberto Gonzalez does much of his work en plein air, so you can just feel the weather and the light. It’s life-affirming somehow. It just beckons spring.”

The Water That Divides, an oil-and-charcoall painting by Hart James

Hart James’ paintings, by contrast “are all done in the studio, not in the open air,” Clarke said. “What is so amazing about her is that she has been painting super seriously for only eight years, but her work is incredibly strong and really appealing.”

The two artists vary in a number of ways. Gonzalez, who paints primarily in watercolor, lives in Oregon and has been exhibiting his work, much of which is watercolors of the Oregon coast and the Willamete Valley, at the Karin Clarke Gallery since 2004.

This is James’ first time showing her work there. Her favored medium combines oil and charcoal on canvas, and her style is “a little more stylized” than Gonzalez’s, Clarke said.

Although James clearly had an artistic bent early on — she studied at prestigious art programs including Northwestern, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the San Francisco Art Institute — she eventually turned to running her own business in landscape design and installation.

She lived in Corvallis for 15 years, but she now resides in Anacortes, Wash., and although Clarke mostly features Oregon artists, she was eager to add James’ work to her lineup.

“Since she came back to painting really seriously, she’s been doing it with a vengeance,” Clarke said. “She contacted me about participating in a show, and I found her work to be very, very strong.”

Humberto Gonzalez’s watercolor, Country Sermon

That gave her the idea of putting up a dual show of work by Gonzalez and James.

“I thought it would be exciting — their work is different, but not in a way that competes. And I found the contrast of the watercolor behind glass and the oil and graphite on canvas very appealing,” Clarke said. “They definitely both have beautiful approaches, and I’m finding that people who come in to see the show have tended to really appreciate them both.”

The combination of the two “really captures the mood of the Pacific Northwest from the coast to the valley, from the water to the vineyards,” she said.

Art by Humberto Gonzalez and Hart James

When: Through April 9, 2022

Where: Karin Clarke Gallery, 760 Willamette St., Eugene

Hours: Noon to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Information: 541-684-7963 or karinclarkegallery.com

The Branches Spread Wide, The Communication is an oil-on-canvas triptych by Hart James