Pennsylvania Artists: James Feehan and Valeriy Skrypka

logo-blankJo and I went to the 85th Phillips’ Mill art show just north of New Hope.  Thanks to my new-found understanding of art, I enjoyed myself so much more than I had in past years.  I didn’t demand so much of the art like I used to.  Instead, I allowed the art to be what it was and allowed myself to be what I am.  The last two years, I liked very little of the art.  I realize now that this said more about me than it did about the art.  This year, I enjoyed much of it.

James Feehan continued to be my favorite artist in the show.  His paintings in the last three shows gave me the impression of carnival or circus performers in a dream.  This year, I wondered if the figures were decorative figurines who had been brought to life.  I don’t know if Feehan intends this, but I find his images a bit disturbing.  I like that.

Jo and I stopped in New Hope to walk around town afterwards and got an extra treat.  We had somehow never before gone into Gallery Piquel.  As soon as we walked in, Jo said they must have some of Valeriy Skrypka’s work.  She was right.  Tamara, the wonderful owner, has six of his paintings.  He is one of our favorite artists.  He, an immigrant from Ukraine, contributes to Bucks County’s reputation as the “Genius Belt.”


V. Skrypka, Apparel with Wings

Skrypka’s paintings show a world that seems to be from the deep mythological roots of at least the Indo-European peoples.  In this world, the people’s proportions are pulled out of shape, but in ways that reveal Skrypka’s purposefulness.  He knows how to create proper proportions, so his stretching of them is particularly effective, and particularly disturbing.  Each scene seems like a freeze-frame of a bizarre dream, with juxtaposed objects and people that just aren’t right, but that together, somehow in this dream world, reveal ineffable insights.


Paintings posted with the permission of the artists.

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