Sylvan Gallery celebrates its 19th year with receptions

Cribstone by Robert Noreika, oil, 30” x 40”

Sylvan Gallery celebrates its 19th year of representing a core group of
talented New England artists with receptions on Thursday, August 29 and
Thursday, September 26, both from 5 – 8 p.m. to mark their anniversary and
to coincide with the Wiscasset Art Walk. The exhibition, which is
continually evolving, continues through October 31st.

New to the gallery wall’s this season is a series of nocturnes by New
Jersey artist Neal Hughes. In “ Twilight Walk,” Hughes paints a tranquil
scene of a ferry station at dusk. A street lamp provides illumination for
the solitary figure walking his dog. The turquoise, pink and violet tones
of the sky reflect off the water, and the feeling created is one of quiet
reflection. In “Midnight Passage,” Hughes again relies on the cast light
from a street lamp to provide illumination to the scene. Both paintings
are composed from a high vantage point, but this time a modest two-story
house and a passing car are the focus of his attention. The painting is
evocative of the night scenes of mid-century artist Edward Hopper for the
quiet mystery of dusk and the method of highlighting a scene against a
darker background. “Port Nocturne” and “Shimmering Moonlight” are two
additional nocturnes included in the exhibition.

 

Twilight Walk by Neal Hughes, oil, 16” x 16”

Neal Hughes is a former illustrator who has been painting professionally
for more than 30 years. For the past eight years he has been participating
in plein air competitions up and down the east coast as well as plein air
events in Texas and Wisconsin. His most recent awards include “Best
Associate Award of Excellence” at the 2019 Oil Painters of America
National Exhibition, “Artists Choice Award” and “Best Nocturne Award” at
Lighthouse Plein Air Competition 2019, Tequesta, Florida.

One of Robert Noreika’s most dynamic works in the exhibition is
“Cribstone,” a 30 by 40 inch oil painting of the Bailey Island Bridge
(also called Cribstone Bridge) connecting Bailey’s Island and Orr’s Island
in Harpswell. Norieka uses the landscape as a jumping off point to capture
the feeling of a place in a bold and semi-abstracted manner. He paints
spontaneously and blends minimally to keep the freshness of the scene
alive. The granite slabs of the bridge become dashes of color. Simplified
forms of distant trees are more abstractly painted, and the water and
mudflats are captured with thin washes of color juxtaposed with rhythmic
brushwork and colorful patterns of blues, greens, and violets. His other
paintings in the exhibition include paintings of New Harbor and Monhegan
Island.

Noreika has been a professional artist and instructor for over 40 years.
He is the recipient of awards from the America Watercolor Society,
National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic, the Salmagundi Club,
and Academic Artist Association. He is a signature member of the New
England Watercolor Society. His work is in the permanent collection of the
New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, CT.

Paul Batch’s paintings always feel illuminated from within. In his newest
works he uses glazes of color to capture those transitional times of day
when the sun is rising or setting or just as the moon is coming up. In
“Golden Gleam,” a 24 by 30 inch atmospheric painting of the New England
marsh, the diffused golden ephemeral light of the sun transitions across
the sky into violets and into dusty pinks along the horizon. The marsh
water and grasses are enriched by the beautiful tones of the sky creating
a beautiful harmony to the whole.  Other marsh paintings by Batch include
“Shoreline Evening in Spring,” at 18 by 36 inches, and “Evening Breeze,”
at 12 by 24 inches.

Batch is an award-winning member of Oil Painters of America and Portrait
Society of America. His work has appeared in numerous publications
including the Artist’s Magazine, International Artist, and Fine Art
Connoisseur.

The newest paintings of Crista Pisano include four works painted during
the Castine, Maine, Plein Air Festival in July of this year. Pisano is
known for her miniature paintings that, although small in dimension, are
large in impact. “View From Fort Madison, Castine,” measuring 2 x 6 1/2
inches, captures the textural quality of the rocky beach and the view
looking out across the Penobscot Bay to Nautilaus Island. Its brilliant
yellow sky provides the perfect contrast to the deeper tones of the
painting.

Pisano was the 2019 winner of “Best Noctune” at the Plein Air Easton
Festival, the largest and most prestigious juried plein air competition in
the United States.

Maine artists whose work will also be on view include Stan Moeller (York),
who contributes “Fashion in Cannes,” a street scene of a chicly dressed
woman who pauses before a storefront window while searching her bag.
Moeller has a gift for capturing figures in motion and making a brief
moment in time, significant. Susannah Haney’s (Wiscasset) newest painting
to the exhibition is  “A Break in the Clouds, Pemaquid Light.” Haney’s
works have always captivated the viewer by her ability to bring a fresh
eye to an often painted subject by her careful attention to detail and for
the luminous glow to her paintings. And Ann Scanlan (Wiscasset) continues
to explore the theme of animals in rural farm settings in her painting,
“Misty Morning at Straw’s Farm.”

Other represented artists whose work is on display include Peter Layne
Arguimbau, Joann Ballinger, Al Barker, Angelo Franco, Charles Kolnik, Heather Gibson
Lusk, Polly Seip, and Shirley Cean Youngs.

For more information, call Ann Scanlan at (207) 882-8290 or go to
www.sylvangallery.com. The gallery is open Monday, Wednesday through
Saturday, 10:00 a.m to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays
by chance or appointment, at 49 Water St., Wiscasset, on the corner of
Main Street/Route 1 and Water St., next to Red’s Eats.

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