Shepherdstown Series

In November of 1973, while still an undergraduate student at Shepherd College, Kinnett began a series of forty paintings which dealt with buildings on the main street in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. At that time, he had recently returned from Northern Europe, with an interest in the surface qualities and tonalities of works by French Fauve artists, especially the arists on the edge of that movement. Marquet, Manguin, Puy, Friesz and Camion appealed to him with their harmonious color arrangements and the works of Vlaminck and Derain for their surface quality.

The Shepherdstown Series treats white as a color, much as in the works of Maurice Utrillo. The rest of the palette had been limited to pure blues and creamy grays. The brush strokes are quick, erratic and forceful. These works were more direct than Kinnett’s later work, because shapes were usually related to the width of the brush that applied them. The compositions are horizontal, with angular forms offset by occasional vertical shapes. Many of the works are were painted from above the street, on rooftops.