For 16 years, Adelaide Tyrol has been writing this Outdoor Palette column. Since she’s an accomplished artist in her own right, we thought we’d turn the tables this time and put the spotlight on her.
Readers will know Tyrol’s illustrations from the “Overstory” and “Outside Story” columns that appear in every issue of Northern Woodlands and in newspapers around the Northeast. What most won’t know, however, is that Tyrol splits her time between Vermont and New York City, where she’s a principal artist at Oliphant Studios. Her work involves creating backdrops and environments for television, movies, and events such as Fashion Week, where she builds fashion runway interiors for top designers. The work is done at break-neck speed for exacting clients under high pressure.
The attention to detail that Tyrol exhibits in her “Outside Story” illustrations, and the style and technique of her set design work, both inform her studio paintings. With her canvas stapled to the floor and her large brushes attached to the ends of bamboo poles, Tyrol walks around her canvas. She works with speed and urgency, her technique automatic and gestural as she splashes, drags, and sponges pools of paint.
The above work, entitled “Rescue,” is a diptych – a painting made up of two parts. In the left side, the viewer’s attention is thrust to the upper-left corner by the directional flow of both sea and sky. Here, the burnt sienna clouds are breaking, and we see the promise of a ship on the horizon. But less than an inch away, in the right panel, the horizon dims, and the viewer is swallowed by the dark green, turbulent waters of the sea. “I wanted to impart a sense of uncertainty – balancing a sense of panic with a sense of hope,” said Tyrol. The work conveys the power, and force, and wildness of nature, through a humbled human perspective – one that teeters between silence and salvation, sea water black and sunset gold.
Adelaide Tyrol has two solo shows this fall: one at McGowan Fine Art in Concord, New Hampshire (running September 8 through October 9), and another showcasing her work illustrating “The Outside Story,” to be held at The Montshire Museum in Norwich, Vermont, from October 16 through November 12. She will also be exhibiting in a group show at the Great Hall in Springfield, Vermont, from September 17 through April 29, 2016. Along with McGowan Fine Art, Adelaide is represented by Furchgott-Sourdiff Gallery in Shelburne, Vermont, and West Branch Gallery in Stowe, Vermont. She may also be reached through her website.