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Second Saturday Light at j27 Gallery

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It all started with a study of an oak tree in oil paints her senior year at Sacramento State’s studio art program. Now two years later, Kristin Hartman is showing for the first time in Midtown at j27 Gallery, located at 2728 J St., through February 17.

“I never thought of myself as a landscape artist,” she said. “I focus on the light.”

She concedes that for now she needs slightly more defined shapes to give the light and shadow she loves a stability that more impressionistic interpretations of nature would not provide.

When first finding her visual voice, Hartman painted small realistic still life and portraits in acrylic.

“I was afraid of color,” she says of that time of artistic development. “It intimidated me.”

Overcoming her fears, her process now involves a freedom it didn’t possess before by finishing pieces in only a few hours and using a pallet knife to apply the paint. The fluidity and freshness that this provides enables unplanned and surprising treasures to emerge.

“I’m such a perfectionist, but with art, I don’t control it,” she said.

Work included in this exhibition is created from trips to William Land Park, Walnut Grove, Folsom and El Dorado Hills. Exploring her fascination with the mystery and intrigue of light, Hartman says she works best when she explores an idea for a little while as a mini-series before moving on.

“Three people said to me this last week her use of light is reminiscent of established local artist Vicki Asp,” gallery co-owner Susan Rabinovitz said.

Rabinovitz is committed to the local art scene and says that between 70 and 80 artists have been featured since the gallery opened last June.

“We really like to help the emerging artist,” she said.

That spirit will continue after the j27 Gallery closes its doors on February 18 and reopens as Little Relics.

The new boutique and galleria will be located at 908 21st St. and will open February 25, featuring art from Robert Coleman and David Arnold as well emerging local talent.

Enjoy Second Saturday at all the local galleries this weekend.

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