Artists reflect on just what makes Cayman so excellent

Cayman Reflections recently opened at The Gallery of The Ritz-Carlton, an art exhibition produced by Cayman Traditional Arts that was designed to celebrate Cayman through the unique eye of local artists. Patrick Broderick, Greg Lipton, Dora Williams, Sue Howe, Renate Seffer, Al Ebanks, Chris Christian, Avril Ward, Mikael Seffer, Christel Ibsen, Gordon Solomon, Maureen Lazarus and Hannah Cook are all exhibiting.

The magical combination of the sea and children make the ideal subject matter for artist Christel Ibsen, whose work reflects the sheer pleasure of a child at play. In the Reflections exhibition Christel’s paintings exude the carefree existence of youth.

“My paintings reflect the absolute joy of being a child, the purity of youth and the sheer heaven of being able to run free on the beach,” she says. 

Christel is enjoying becoming even more creative with her seascapes, applying thick layers of paint and varnish to recreate the movement of the waves.

“I keep trying to create more difficult images and take things to the next step,” she confirms. “I feel like my paintings have become more evolved in the process.”

In a similar way, Greg Lipton also manages to capture a moment in time with his paintings, yet he uses a totally different approach to his artwork, mainly employing the stark power of monochrome to get his message across. Greg’s paintings generally focus on perceptive portraits of people. For this exhibition he concentrates on a relation, Benny, an attentive fisherman, and captures the special moment when the fisherman anticipates his catch, not an easy task to perform artistically.

“I find that painting in monochrome means that there are no distractions to the message,” Greg states. “It helps me focus attention on what the subject matter is doing at that split second that I capture them.”

Sue Howe says she is thrilled to be a part of the exhibition, and displays images of Cayman that catch her eye on her travels around the islands.

“I had to paint this forgotten old fuel pump at a gas station on the Brac,” she comments, referring to one of her paintings in the exhibition. 

“I’m drawn to forgotten, out-of-the-way places and like to pair the image down and reinterpret it through oil painting.” 

As a result her paintings are colourful and effective in portraying the image, nearly always reconisable to the observant local viewer.

Her painting of a fishing boat is particularly striking, set against a dark raw umber background that lifts the image and makes it real.

Impasto is a method of painting that employs thick layers of paint to create a three dimensional effect and Gordon Solomon has employed this method in his entries to the Reflections exhibition to great effect.

“I love the feeling of movement within a painting that impasto can create,” he confirms. 

Gordon depicts scenes from the quieter side of Grand Cayman – Breakers at North Side and East End to full effect in a colourful display of artistry.

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From left, Greg Lipton, Christel Ibsen, Sue Howe, Mikael Seffer, Avril Ward and Chris Christian

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