Sat. 10:12 p.m.: Blue Ridge landscapes on display at Butler Trumbull

COMING SUNDAY: Frederick Nichols has traveled out West to paint its distinctive landscapes, but he prefers the sights in his backyard, Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

“Frederick Nichols: 40 Years in the Blue Ridge,” a retrospective of the Barbourville, Va., artist’s work, opens Sunday at the Butler Institute of American Art Howland Branch with a meet-the-artist reception from 1 to 3 p.m.

“These are large impressionistic-like paintings of nature,” Butler Director Louis Zona said. “He is a remarkable talent in the painting of landscapes and the other elements. They’re just spectacular. This should be one of the most popular exhibits we’ve ever done in the Trumbull facility.”

The Butler first discovered Nichols work through Phil Desind (1910-1996), who was director of Capricorn Galleries in Maryland and a longtime Butler supporter.

“He loved Nichols work and made a donation of a piece to the Butler collection,” Zona said. “It seemed like a natural to ask him to exhibit with us.”

Nichols said, “I’ve had numerous dealers, and he (Desind) really was the best. He would purchase a painting when nothing was selling.”

The paintings start with a photograph as Nichols goes out into the wooded areas, taking many photos at different times of year and different times of day to capture the subtle variations.

Read more and see photos in the Sunday Tribune Chronicle.