To say that Timberly Dunn's show of watercolors is, by and large, flowery isn't necessarily a value judgment but a statement of truth. The back room of the Buenaventura Gallery is richly pollinated with her unpretentious and deftly executed floral "portraits."
Dunn is a skilled watercolorist with an unabashed appreciation for subjects found in nature, and her work is replete with horticultural specifics. But her art is also about art. Whatever the subject, Dunn is dealing with--to quote her show's title--"Releasing the Color Within."
She gives flowers their due attention, as in "Hollyhocks" and "Delphiniums," placing the exactingly rendered blooms against backdrops of fuzzier, seeping colors. "Two Trees" is a landscape painting, its title referring to the tiny trees atop a distant hill, looking like lovers admiring the agrarian view below.
Dunn also shows pieces revealing the instincts of a scientific illustrator. The composite work called "Cozumel, Mexico" shows an inset map of the area's geography, flanked by images of the exotic, resident sea life. Faithful depictions of such creatures as a green moray eel and a yellowtail damselfish become colorful drawing exercises, lovingly detailed. "Time Out of Mind" takes an unexpectedly surreal, whimsical turn, with its paintings of fish and insects in front of a painting of sunflowers. It's as if the fish are swimming in an aquarium with sunflowers as a background, a charming trompe l'oeil trick.