‘Where Sky Meets Earth’: tranquil, meditative seascapes by Janise Yntema @ The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

‘Evening Quietly Arrives’, Janise Yntema, (oil, encaustic, mixed media on canvas)

Originally from New York and now based in Brussels, Janise Yntema is enchanted by the wild open landscape of the Scottish Highlands and Islands.  She specialises in working in encaustic, the ancient painting technique combining dammar resin, beeswax and pigment. It dates back to the ancient Greeks who decorated ships, statues and buildings and also used to create the murals of Pompeii. Encaustic literally means to ‘burn in’ whereby heat fuses the organically pure materials together. 

‘Nature has always had an influence in my work. The romantic landscape and memories of places I have experienced, are a subject that I continue to return to in my work. The English Romantic painter, John Constable, is quoted as saying that painting is another word for feeling.

I would add that, for me, landscape is another word for spiritual.

  Janise Yntema

This exhibition, ‘Where Sky Meets Earth’, covers her journeys over recent years around Scotland including Oban, Mull, Staffa, Mallaig, Skye, Portree and Ullapool. Without giving exact locations in the titles of each painting, the overall theme is the swiftly change in light and weather from dawn to dusk across the peaceful, unspoilt environment.

A hazy blue glow envelops the forest of tall pine trees along the shoreline in As Morning Still Sleeps, with the faint contour of distant hills lost in a murky mist. The perspective places the viewer immersed in the woodland, to feel the crisp morning air and utter stillness.

‘As Morning Sill Sleeps’, Janise Yntema, (oil, encaustic, mixed media)

Before I Arise pictures the actual scene experienced on an early morning walk along the bay in Oban, as she describes: ‘I find the moments before dawn mystical.’  There’s an extraordinary photographic quality to the dark silhouette of shapely islands, and the shimmering light softly reflected on the flat calm water.

‘Before I Arise’, Janise Yntema, (oil, encaustic, mixed media on canvas)

With the sea reduced to a sweep of brushstrokes, the focus is entirely on the fiery, coral- tinted clouds in Red Sky at Dawn. Textured layers of oil paint and bees wax create a semi-transparent glossy, glowing sheen, the pale colour palette of blueish-greys merging across the indistinctive horizon with the flow and fluidity between sky and sea. 

Red Sky at Dawn, Janise Yntema (oil, encaustic, mixed media on panel)

A glimmer of the day’s dying light is captured in Evening’s Hush,  much more of an impressionistic abstracted composition in which tonal colour and diffused light mingle in a swirling mass of the elements – air, cloud, water, earth. With the effect of a smirr of rain it’s powerfully atmospheric to illustrate the emptiness and expanse of the wide open sky and sea.  

Evening’s Hush, Janise Yntema, (oil, encaustic, mixed media on canvas)

‘I am at my most inspired when I think of the poetry that is nature … a search for tranquillity ..the warmth of the sun’s last light and whisper of the breeze … a sense of memory, the shifting line between what was, what will be and what has been envisioned.’

Janise Yntema

A placid, poetic seascape is calmly and quietly envisioned in Listen to the Wind.  This dreamlike composition captures a meditative moment of silence and solitude with such melancholic mood and soft, subtle luminosity.

‘Listen to the Wind’, Janise Yntema (oil, encaustic, mixed media on panel)

Observing land and sea, hills and horizons, Janise is always captivated by the shifting light and scurrying clouds across the sky, taking photographs as an aide-memoire to recreate the meteorological magic as witnessed in Stories from Clouds (see below).

With a philosophical, aesthetic vision, Janise Yntema shares the emotional response of the Romantic poets and painters to the surreal, sublime beauty of the natural world.

This superlative exhibition of majestic, moody paintings document with delicate detail ‘the earth’s fragile beauty,’ reflecting time, space and place – all at once, realistic, lyrical and imagined.

‘…a sense sublime,
Of something far more deeply interfused,

… the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky.’

William Wordsworth: from “On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye, July 13, 1798”

The Scottish Gallery, 16 Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HZ

Where Sky Meets Earth: Janise Yntema

2 – 25 March, 2023:  Tuesday to Friday 11-6pm.  Saturday 11-2pm

Illustrated exhibition catalogue available, £10.

www.scottish-gallery.co.uk

‘Stories from Clouds’, Janise Yntema (oil, encaustic, mixed media on panel)
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About vivdevlin

I am an international travel writer, specialising in luxury travel, hotels, restaurants, city guides, cruises, islands, train and literary-inspired journeys. I review dance and theatre, Arts Festivals and love the visual arts. I have just experienced an epic voyage, circumnavigating the globe, following in the wake of Captain Cook, Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson.

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