If the floral decor on my grandmother’s couch came alive, went for a dip in the pond, then snuggled up on the cat’s back, it might look something like Sheilah Grogan’s paintings. Which is to say, Grogan paints familiar subjects engaging in slightly surreal acts, in hues and numbers that create pattern everywhere. Turquoise and lime grass grows thick with decoupage flowers (those pretty Victorian ones); tree bark wriggles brown, taupe and forest green as if alive (well, it is); fiery koi flee bluebirds capable of riding their scales (wouldn’t you?). Nature is ripe with patterns visible to the naked eye: pond ripples, tree veins, dragonfly wings. Grogan dabs at these, more or less realistically, then invents enough to fill the rest of her canvas from edge to edge. Or perhaps the bees and hummingbirds and tabbies do it themselves, mysteriously come to wild life through oil on linen.
—Lori Waxman 11/27/15 3:17 PM