Gregory Blackstock, Our Own Local Northwest Holiday Novelties, 2010, graphite, colored pencil and marker on paper.

As the holidays approach, some galleries and museums already have shows in progress and some are opening new exhibits this week. Here are a few noteworthy shows for the First Thursday Gallery Walk and beyond. (And remember, holiday schedules vary, so when in doubt, phone ahead for hours and closures.)

Gregory Blackstock: Recent Works on Paper
Thru Dec 22, Greg Kucera Gallery

The popular self-taught Seattle artist makes drawings that channel his own distinctive worldview, in which lists and cataloging predominate. Diagnosed with autism, Blackstock, now in his 60s, has long used his encyclopedic memory and ability to organize information to create visual imagery that delights and amazes.

David French: Out of the Blue
Dec 6–29, Linda Hodges Gallery

Long-time Seattleite David French assembles abstract sculptures of carved and painted wood. Some are composed of delicate components, hinting at Calder mobiles, others of evocative forms such as ovoids, coral-like protuberances, barbs or sunbursts. French explains: “I want to create something that is spectacular in both its ordinariness and its extraordinariness, in its familiarity and it unfamiliarity.”

Richard Morhous: Line Paintings
Dec 6–30, Lisa Harris Gallery

Morhous departs from his usual approach to composition in this new group of acrylic-on-clayboard paintings of urban environments. He sees this new attention to line drawing as part of “a continuing evolution of the marriage of line and color.” Since 1987, Morhous has exhibited nearly every year at Lisa Harris Gallery and his work is represented in many Northwest collections, including Microsoft, the Hallie Ford Museum, Group Health and others.

Victor Hugo Zayas: Grid
Dec 6–Jan 27, Friesen Abmeyer Fine Art

For his first solo show in Seattle, Mexican-born artist Victor Hugo Zayas presents 13 large oil-on-canvas, landscape-based abstractions. Inspired by the crisscross of jet contrails, these moody paintings evoke the devastated landscapes of post-eruption Mt. St. Helens, with forests leveled like scattered toothpicks under stormy skies. The artist, who now lives in Los Angeles, will be in house for the First Thursday opening reception, 5–8pm.

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