Paint the Sky at Pleiades through November 17

Paint the Sky

New Paintings by Calvin Brett and Kim Wheaton

October 30 – November 17, 2013

Artists’ Salon: Wednesday, November 6, 6-8pm

Third Friday Reception: Friday, November 15, 6-9 pm

“Paint the Sky” is a collaborative effort by Pleiades Gallery member artists Calvin Brett and Kim Wheaton that showcases their individual talents and also highlights the interplay of bold and refined painting methods that explore the colors, textures, and metaphors of the sky. While many of the paintings in the exhibit are a study in contrasts – massive constructed pieces versus petite canvases suspended by monofilament, or bold angles and gestural strokes of color versus carefully blended pigment transitions – Brett and Wheaton use remarkably similar color palettes that create wonderfully complementary art pairings.

For example, a delicate painting of telephone lines against a sunset background plays marvelously with a boldly angled, layered construction about the Sun God. While different in style and dimension, both pieces are composed with lines and angles, and (without any prior communication between artists) both paintings are filled with the same grey, yellow, and orange hues.

Two of the pieces in “Paint the Sky” are true collaborations. Brett and Wheaton took the bold step of each starting a painting and then switching with the other artist half-way through the process. The artists had the challenge of completing the second painting in their own style while also preserving an element of the other artist’s work. “Firework Cathedral” has patterned rays in pinks and oranges painted by Brett, with a silhouetted figure created by Wheaton. “Canopy” looks up through a stand of trees, painted by Wheaton, with a heavily-textured base and repeating arcs started by Brett.

Pleiades Gallery invites you to an Artists’ Salon on Wednesday, November 6th, 6-8 pm, to hear Calvin Brett and Kim Wheaton talk about why they painted the sky, their very different painting processes, and about the interplay between their works. A second reception, on Durham’s Third Friday, will be held November 15th from 6-9 pm.


For Calvin, “Paint the Sky” is a body of work displaying how he thinks about and interacts with the sky in moments from his memory. He questions: What is the sky? What is it made of? What secrets might it hide? Where are we most struck by the sky? What does it mean to paint the sky? These musings inspired a series of works that dance the line between 2d and 3d and that explore the different ways sky plays a role in our lives.

Calvin’s paintings in acrylic and mixed media often start on a plywood base, sometimes constructed with several layers of wood to develop dimension and depth. He employs bold colors, gestural power, pattern, and humor to create evocative works.


Kim is fascinated by the sky as a painting subject because it is a landscape of constantly shifting light and color. In “Paint the Sky” she considers the sky as a metaphor for freedom, the infinite, and as a connection to the heavens. Several of her paintings juxtapose the majesty of the sky with mundane elements of our lives, earthly and banal, like telephone poles and parking lots.

Kim’s paintings are peaceful representations in oil, acrylic, and mixed media on canvas. Her paintings often are about finding moments of transcendence in the everyday world.