Review: Leap Into White 

3 stars

Garvey|Simon Art Access. Daisy Craddock's exhibit of oil pastel on paper drawings were composed at a 19th-century farmhouse that Craddock rented in the Berkshire Mountains last summer. The bucolic setting fits her style. Craddock has worked on darkened paper or canvas since 1979, but in these plein air (composed on-site) drawings she has reverted to white.

But there's little that leaps off the canvas in this show, as it were, and perhaps such a leap is something urgently needed in Craddock's style — a popular American style rooted (and perhaps mired) in 19th Century French Impressionism. The small size of the frames (10 x 10 inches and 10 x 14 inches) here seems more in sync with the ambition of the work than the show title.

At first glance, "Above the Garden" doesn't seem different from the other drawings here; you see a garden receding to a field with trees in the background in an style that recalls, well, a lot of landscape work you can see in the Hoosier Salon, among other places (and also in the monthly Pastel Journal that you can buy on your local newsstand).

And yet, the sky—the focus of this drawing — and its wild streaks of blue seem like they might have been composed in a moment of sheer joy or abandon. The thick gray outlines of the clouds overhead are playful and interesting as well. Through Feb. 26; 317-844-7278,

click to enlarge Work by Daisy Craddock.
  • Work by Daisy Craddock.

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