A Beautiful Melancholy


In this new body of work, I continue my intentions of painting-as poetry of a feeling-infused landscape but with a focus on opposing but related qualities—opposites that are interconnected like visible/invisible and outward/inward,  An opening to go inward by looking outward happens for me most often when a scrim is present: the veil of fog, the glare of sunlight on water, the quieting as night approaches and everything is reduced to shadow and light, the revealing of a well of color at dawn.  It is in these diffused light muffled moments that we can tap into a richness of being.  By being closed off visually we are granted an invitation to move inward.  The paradox of seeing clearly by not seeing clearly.


The title ‘A beautiful melancholy’ comes from Charles Baudelaire’s quote “I can barely conceive a type of beauty in which there is no melancholy’.  These paintings are inspired in part by the paintings, photographs and exhibit catalog for the Rothko/Sugimoto exhibit held at Pace Gallery in 2010 called “Dark Paintings and Seascapes”.  Also reading Susan Cain’s book “Bittersweet” reaffirmed my commitment to the shadow moments.  Finally, I would be empty without the weight of its air, the shape of its water and the behavior of its light of my beloved Pacific Northwest landscape, sky and sea.

Showing at Geheim Gallery

through October 30

1228 Bay Street Bellingham WA


Open Friday 3-7pm and
Saturday/Sunday 11-4pm

To book an appointment outside
of operating hours,

email Jackson O'Rourke