Last night was the opening reception for the 20/20 show at the Academy Square Galleries, 33 Plymouth St., Montclair, NJ. The show will run until December 15, 2017. I have 2 oil paintings in the show, "Hummingbird" and "Tulip". That's my artistically perceptive grandson, Harry, with me in the Hummingbird picture. He knows how much I love hummingbirds!! The show was very impressive. The concept is that all paintings, and other media, are at eye view and are 20" X 20" in honor of Studio Montclair's 20th Anniversary. The curator, Pamela Moore , wanted to create a show that included humor, beauty and innocence. She said my paintings personified "innocence". I am quite happy with this designation, as I look at the world with the eyes of wonder, and hope that is revealed through my paintings.
I painted this painting because of the sad plight of Syrian Refugees. The image of Joseph and Mary and the baby Jesus fleeing Herod is a metaphor for the plight of all refugees no matter what religion. This painting has just sold, and it is my wish that those who see it will feel compassion for those who suffer persecution and must flee their homes.
When we go to the country I always look for deer. I find them very exciting and magical. In fact I think it is like seeing an angel, because they have a powerful spiritual aura. Imagine my surprise when a deer appeared in my own garden! I was spooning my morning yogurt into a bowl, when I saw him out the window. He was nibbling my petunias, then he tasted the tomato leaves (not the tomatoes, thank goodness, he's like Jay Leno, doesn't like vegetables!) Then he took a drink from the bird bath. All this time I was mesmerized, spoon dangling in air. I came to my senses in time to get some good photos of the guy. Then I started to feel the gardener's dilemma. Yes he was an angel, but he was eyeing my just about to bloom sunflower with tasty interest. So I made some noise and he decided to leap away. I had been looking for an excuse to paint the flowers in my garden, and very much wanted to paint this deer. I hope you enjoy it.
This summer I fell in love with the pink roses in my garden. They were full and burgeoning with pink beauty. I took photos of them, delighted in them, and drew them. It was my intention to paint them. But suddenly, I found the painting in my head was of a beautiful woman, very high fashion, in a glorious hat with my roses blooming from her hat. So that's what I painted. Hope you like it!
We have been going up to Pleasant Valley, New York, for years. My husband's grandfather used to own a farm on Malone Road (named after him). My husband was nostalgic for his roots, but I soon discovered there were goldfinches on Malone Road! They would appear in August and fill the trees. One minute there would be nothing, and then a flash of gold. Nothing thrilled me more. I love birds, as you know if you"ve looked at my paintings, and goldfinches have always been particularly magical to me. They symbolize happiness, and unexpected beauty. Recently, I looked out my window and a darling little goldfinch was at the feeder (the seed that attracts them is nyger). My heart was filled with joy and this painting literally popped into my head.
Mount Katahdin, Autumn"
Marsden Hartley was a very original American artist (1877-1943). This exhibit was close to his soul, the landscapes of his native Maine. By turns, these landscapes, lyrical, bold and haunting, allowed him to express his unique intimacy with the mountains, water and rocks of Maine, through the seasons (autumn being the most vibrant and powerful).
Some of the paintings are tapestries of rich color, such as "Summer", (1908, Oil), and "Carnival of Autumn" (1908, Oil).
Some are simple and strong, painted in bold thick color such as "Mount Katahdin, Autumn (Oil) and "Smelt Brook Falls," (Oil, 1937), which has a rich glaze. "An Evening Mountainscape" perfectly captures peace and tranquility.
But Hartley went through a dark period when he was living in New York City. There, he painted the mountains of Maine from his imagination. And this series of paintings, "Paysages" (Dark Landscapes) done in 1924, are a bit scary. In depressing grays and blacks, the brooding mountains show the harsher side of nature.
Hartley was influenced by Winslow Homer and Hokusai and painted "The Wave" in several versions. I found these to be flat, static and lacking in the strong vision revealed in his mountain landscapes. Even when painting a French mountain, "Mount Sainte Victoire" (1927, Oil) he captures a happy exhuberance in bright brilliant color. Obviously, mountains were his métier. the show will remain on view at the Met Breuer through June 18, 2017.