In 2011 I wrote a post describing some quirky and heartwarming stories that led to a sale or sales of my work:
Since then, I have accumulated a few more that I want to share.
My seven-year-old collector:
Several years ago I was approached by acquaintances who live in our little hamlet. Could their younger daughter interview me for a school project on her favorite artist?
Juliet had accompanied her father Brett to an open studio I had hosted several months prior, and so thought of me (the other kids did mostly Picasso or Van Gogh, I think!).
So we did that, and then Juliet returned to my studio for a private art class. Her mom, Rebecca–who I barely knew, at that point—read in the yard while we did our session, and at the end she came into the studio and we chatted. Juliet was still quite shy at that time, but summoned her courage to ask me how much I charged for my paintings. Her mother feared that the question was rude, but I said, no, that asking for price in an artist’s studio was perfectly acceptable.
So I pointed to a 36″x36″ and said, “This painting will go out to one of my galleries shortly and is priced at $6,000”, and then I pointed to a few other pieces in a stack and continued, “but those pieces in this stack” and I pulled out one that had been in the possession of my sister for years, “are much, much older and I will sell to a friend for a few hundred dollars”.
Her mom and I continued chatting, and then Juliet tugged on her mothers clothing. “MOM, I want to buy a painting.” Rebecca was floored and a little embarrassed, so I picked up what I thought was just a conversational ball. “Juliet, if you were going to buy a painting, which one would it be?
“That one”—she pointed to the stack, where I had stashed the earlier piece behind a few others. I pulled it out again. “I want to buy THAT one.” Her mom tried to backtrack, or at least table the conversation for later, but Juliet was having none of it. “How much would you charge me for it?”
I thought quickly. I could certainly have happily gifted her the piece, it was clear that she wanted to purchase it. So I told her that I would sell that painting to her for $150. “MOM, she said, I have savings and I WANT to buy the painting.” It went back and forth like that for a bit, Juliet also insisting that they take the painting NOW.
And so they did.
Her parents made the great call to have her go with them to the bank and make her first ever withdrawal and then bring me the money herself.
The angelic-looking and very strong-willed young artist:
I have since enjoyed getting to know the whole family better, as Brett and Rebecca have acquired a few pieces of their own and we have shared a glass of wine or two.
“Blue Ridges”, also in the family’s collection.
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She googled “Moody Greenscapes”:
I was wondering if Green Waves was available? I have a perfect spot for this painting in my new home and love the story behind this piece on your blog.”
Here is the post that she found:
This sort of email often leads to a discussion about the shipper because…you guessed it…it is a scam.
But of course, I answered politely, not knowing that for sure:
“Yes, the piece is at my gallery in Rhinebeck, Albert Shahinian Fine Art. Someone has been nibbling on it, but has not yet moved.
I am glad that you like the story, as of course, do I!
Where do you live? Would we be delivering (nyc metro area) or shipping? I will loop the gallery in as soon as we figure a few things like that out.”
Then it became clear that we had a price misunderstanding, because there was the big piece itself:
Green Waves, 13″x76″ overall, oil on linen.
And the study for the piece:
Second and final small version of Green Wave., oil on paper, 5″x28″.
So that was just about that for that, as she explained:
“Unfortunately I was hoping the price of the piece was the other one I had seen online since $8,000 is definitely beyond our budget. This would only be my second piece of original art so we are just now starting out.
I certainly appreciate your response though and congratulate you on beautiful work. I found you from doing a google image search. I knew I wanted a moody greenscape and from one click to another I found Green Waves.”
Meanwhile, I did offer to look for a different piece:
“If I charged that price for the larger one, it would not even cover the cost of the frame, I am afraid, after gallery commission. This is an expensive business to be in!
If you would like to carry this a little further (I would be honored to be represented in your second piece of original art), we might be able to find something more affordable that you like.”
And then, some communication–she really did love that piece, and it was perfect for her spot—some silence—a bit of dickering— discussion with her husband—much back and forth between me and my galleriest Albert Shahinian—but only about a month later, altogether:
“I can’t believe I get to have Green Waves in our home. I am so excited. I still cannot believe that not only did I spend so much on a piece of real actual art (instead of all the TJmaxx wall decor I have going on), but that I did so on a piece without first seeing it in person. All that being said there is no doubt in my mind. I LOVE love this piece and know i will love it even more in our home.”
And then finally, after Albert packed and shipped the long, heavy piece:
“It’s breath taking.
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Painting from 1987:
A few months ago I received an email from a fellow asking about the inspiration for this painting:
Sisters painting, 40″x50″, 1987.
I have to say, I was very excited to see this piece, to me a standout from my abstract figurative period in the 1980’s when I was living in NYC. I remembered the sale of it to a woman who was accustomed to collecting high-end work, and I had always wondered if/how long she had held onto it. Frankly, given what else she had on her walls in her Sutton Place apartment, I was afraid that it had ended up in a dumpster.
It turned out that she does indeed really love her art–all of it, no dumpsters—even those pieces that have been switched around to different residences and in and out of storage. A few years ago, she offered to gift this piece to her sometimes personal assistant/friend and her husband. And so, it ended up in their California home…and sparked the inquiry.
I was communicating with Rich, the husband, batting info back and forth. Eventually, it was his idea to purchase two small pieces to go on either side, accommodating their budget. After studying the photo of their living room with the painting (which we started calling simply the “Sisters” painting, as is is a stylized image of me with my sister Karin behind me), I realized that monotypes would be the best bet, both for color/affect and for price. I recommended going with the pop of warm color that is in the painting, rather than trying to match the greens.
Then the couple decided that they wanted two more prints, for other spots in the room. I sent the four of them off and the next day got the email below:
“Love them! Thank you. I can’t wait to get them framed!
Love them, love them, love them!”
Framing options—the final decision was the warm mat, since these two are printed on ochre-colored paper.
These are the other two that they acquired:
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Does a gift qualify as a sale?
Some 12 or so years ago we had a holiday party and Gary Alexander, art and science writer from Woodstock, came with his girlfriend. He had been introduced to me years before by my then-gallery, the James Cox Gallery, and had gone on to, over time, write extensively about my work. (This included an 8 page article that got into Freud and brain science and required some serious focus, even for me.)
I had my studio heated and lit that night for those who wanted to take a look, and Gary, of course, did. After a bit of circulating on his part, we went out together and he pretty quickly got snagged by a 36″x36″ painting that was almost totally in black and white, big stormy sky gleam over our Catskill mountains backlit to black.
I can’t find a jpeg of the piece, but it had a look very similar to this one, but with a black mountain range in front:
A bit later, when I went back out with another friend, Gary’s partner was kneeing on the floor, rapt, in front of the same painting.
A few months later, this piece began to—ugh!—develop fine cracks in the surface. It was a new brand of stretched linen I had tried, quite pricey, and I think now was actually stretched too tight, a rare thing. Sadly, this painting was not going out to one of my galleries, even though these cracks were not visible from a few yards back.
I knew immediately what to do. I called Gary and left a message on his machine. Can you come by the studio, I have a surprise for you?
He was there within the hour. A gentle, laconic fellow, he did not stay around to chat after I gave him the painting, but his face said it all.
I am quite sure that it was the last time I saw him. He passed away in 2017.
I hope his girlfriend is still enjoying the painting.
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To Madrid on the private jet:
One more, a quick one, because that is how the sale happened.
In June of 2017 a fellow was drawn into my gallery on Martha’s Vineyard, the Louisa Gould Gallery, by a very large marsh painting in the window. That piece was too big, but sitting still wrapped in the gallery was my season’s delivery, dropped by my husband earlier that day. The fellow, from Madrid, helped unwrap a new 44″x68″, and fell in love with the piece instantly. His wife concurred. Problem was, would it fit in their private jet?
Just then, his pilot walked by the front of the gallery and was promptly hailed. Would this piece fit? Hurried consultation in Spanish. Yes, it would!
The piece was wrapped back up and invoiced and paid for, and out the door it went.
The whole encounter took about 20 minutes.
Rolling Cloud, 44″x68″.
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I have been steadily selling my work for decades, resulting in many hundreds of pieces going out to homes, offices, and public collections around the country and the world. These stories remind me to be grateful for each and every one of those sales, but you can see that most of the ones that stick with me are not necessarily big in dollar amount, but big in heart.
The surface of a body of water is a reflective, moving, open expanse. Beneath it, the water roils with life—rooted or crawling or burrowing or swimming, lifeforms going about their business of feeding off of each other and reproducing and eventually dying. Above it, life also carries on.
Sky Meets Water, 18″x24″.
One day last July, while staying on Otsego Lake near Cooperstown, NY, I headed to the dock to sit and gaze at the water for a few moments. Looking down at the dock to find my seat, I heard a throaty, loud honk/squack. We had been enjoying visits all week from a mama duck and her nine ducklings, so my first thought as I turned my head was, “that was not a duck!”.
Nothing behind me, but as I straightened to face the side I was now seated at, I saw an adult eagle taking off from the water about 25 feet in front of me. It had been addressing my intrusion, I think!
Shortly after, I decided to make a call to my friend Jenny, with whom I had been playing phone tag. I got her voicemail, and the message went something like this: “Hi Jenny, we’re playing phone tag but I am around today so give a OH MY GOD THAT IT THE BIGGEST *#!%ING FISH I HAVE EVER SEEN IN A LAKE GOTTA GO BYE”.
The fish was directly below my dangling feet, at least two feet across, lit up by slanting sunlight. I know there are fish in these waters, despite an altered ecology due to Zebra mussels—my husband has caught some other years from our small boat and I have seen them feeding off of bugs at sunset. And yet, it was as if this big fish had crawled up on land and joined us on the deck for cocktails, such was my sense of worlds colliding.
I am puzzling out, ever since, what was so startling about this fish sighting. After all, I have been among whales in our 16 foot boat off Race Point in Provincetown—including a pod of killer whales; froliked with a mola and some dolphins in the harbor; snorkled off St. Thomas among all sorts and sizes of sea life.
I think that my jolt of surprise was about expectations, so often the case. I had for days been focused on the surface reflections, and I lost track of the awareness of how much is going on underneath and that during my daily swims, I was intruding upon their busy world. Seeing this large fish directly under my feet brought that crashing back.
As artists we are concerned with both surface appearance and deeper function and meaning. The surface is mesmerizing and ever-changing, feeding our visually-linked emotional hunger, and soothing our quotidian bumps and bruises. The complicated churn beneath, however, mirrors life in its day-to-day, demanding a nuanced and dedicated attention.
Indigos with Glowing Light, 18″x24″.
This summer has served to remind me of how much I appreciate my galleries. It can be rewarding, sometimes, to hop off that train and do something self-generated like an open studio or studio tour; or an event at a non-gallery venue. But ultimately, a gallery is where people go to view and buy art. It is a business whose purpose is to exhibit and sell art, and therefore all effort is going to that end.
Invitations generally go out in a timely fashion, instead of getting buried in the more pressing things that a non-gallery venue might have to attend to. The galleriest installs the show, with beautiful results based on years of experience. Folks walk in off the streets who are interested in art; search for the local galleries when visiting; respond to invites. A showing of a grouping of selected works in a collector’s home gets on the schedule without delay, follow-ups are done to inquiries as a matter of course…and so on.
Rokeby Meadow, 24″x30″, at Albert Shahinian Fine Art in Rhinebeck, NY.
That said, the mom-and-pop galleries struggle to stay afloat, with many more friends and lookers than buyers. So collectors, please support your favorite galleries!
Familiar Reds, 11″X14″, at Butters Gallery in Portland, OR.
And if you are an artist with gallery representation, this is how you can help:
Forms of Water, 30″x36″, at Thompson Giroux Gallery in Chatham, NY.
Harbor with Sunset Mists, 24″x36″, at Thomas Henry Gallery, Nantucket.
I had a lovely time teaching this past June in Woodstock and August on Nantucket, with a full house for my color-mixing workshop in both places.
My Woodstock group.
These are the demo pieces that came out of the two landscape workshops:
Summer Haze, pastel on paper, 12″x18″.
Saltmarsh with Soft Sky, 24″x36″.
Seablues with Brilliant Fog, 16″x20″.
Three Posts, 12″x24″.
My week on Nantucket was filled with not only with my wonderful students, but also with salt air and good food and warm friendship.
I organized an informal gathering at Thomas Henry Gallery so that my students could see my work there, all of the sea or the island:
A grouping of my work at Thomas Henry Gallery.
The Woodstock School of Art invitational Monothon in July was a printmaker’s dream. Imagine having a printing staff at your beck and call, both master printmakers and monitors, facilitating your every move. Master printmaker Anthony Kirk guided and facilitated my hoped-for plan, my first monotype triptych (and then a few more).
Wave Triptych, three panels of 8″x10″, headed for a show at Albert Shahinian Fine Art.
One 8″x10″ was chosen from each participating artist, to be sold at the show there opening September 8th, 3-5pm This is my donation print that will be featured, followed by some of my other wave monotypes.
We will be featuring monotypes and my vintage series, along with oil paintings, in my grouping for the upcoming four-artist show at Albert Shahinian Fine Art in Rhinebeck, NY, their yearly Luminous Landscape exhibition. The show opens on September 29, 5-8pm.
Cloud over Green Valley, monotype, 8″x10″.
Dusk Drive in 12, oil on board in a vintage muffin pan, 18″x11″.
Reflected Sun, 32″x48″.
Several of my summer sales:
Gleaming, 12″x24″, sold by the Julie Heller Gallery, Provincetown, MA.
Swirling Winter Sky, 20″x24″, sold by the Woodstock School of Art.
One of my favorite pieces from the past decade, Perceived Acuity pleases me for its simplicity, movement, elegant shapes, and unusual color:
“Perceived Acuity”, 18″x52″, sold by the Louisa Gould Gallery, Vineyard Haven, MV.
Serene Sengie, 44″x68″, sold by the Louisa Gould Gallery.
Link to in-studio available works in oil and on paper:
Coming right up, my teaching week in Provincetown, Sept. 17th for Color Mixing and 18-20th for the Landscape Painting Intensive. If you are feeling inspired and spontaneous, come and join us!
Provincetown, 20″X30″, at the Julie Heller Gallery, Provincetown.
Also upcoming: another residency on Nantucket in November. My focus there and in my studio will be on Atlas/Forms of Water, from the sky to the land to the ocean, and everywhere in between.
Affirmation in Blues, 36″x72″ overall, at Louisa Gould Gallery, MV.
My first fully realized Atlas Project installation opens at Thompson Giroux Gallery in Chatham, NY, on March 31st, 2018. Elaborating on my artist’s statement for my discussion below, I am also including photos of all of the work in the show.
Here is the gallery’s press release, nicely weaving together my previous artist’s statement about my paintings with my new Atlas Project statement. Thompson Giroux Gallery and I are very pleased to be pledging a donation from sales to benefit two local land conservancy organizations, a small thank-you to the earth for the beautiful vistas and open spaces that I have been painting for the past decades.
Forms of Water, 30″x36″. (G)
The artworks in Christie Scheele‘s solo exhibition Atlas/Hudson River Valley take the viewer on a walk through the Hudson River Valley’s open spaces from Albany south to Manhattan.
In this exhibition Scheele brings together paintings, drawings, printmaking and mixed media and explores the personal and collective connection between our lives today and our increasingly fragile environment. Scheele continues her immersion into open spacious landscape painting. Using soft lines Scheele allows the viewer to sense and experience a particular place in our local environment; the way the light makes you feel at a specific time of day, how a place has it’s own color palette reflecting memory and process. Scheele’s use of color and atmosphere creates a suspended moment to experience the intangible power of nature.
With each destination on the “Site Map” we are invited to take an intimate look at how process, history and memory play a crucial role in our relationship to our natural environment.
In an effort to support our local land conservation initiatives, artist Christie Scheele and Thompson Giroux Gallery pledge 5% of any sales by the artist during Atlas/Hudson River Valley on view March 31-May 6, 2018 to benefit the Columbia Land Conservancy and the Woodstock Land Conservancy.
Please join us Saturday March 31st from 4-6pm for refreshments and live music by Josh Connors & Otto Gardnier.
For more information please visit www.thompsongirouxgallery.com or call 518-392-3336.
Thompson Giroux Gallery is located at 57 Main Street, Chatham NY 12037.
Gallery hours: Thursday – Monday 11am to 5pm, Friday 11am to 7pm.
Closed Tuesday & Wednesday
Closed Sunday April 1st
Image credit: Christie Scheele, “Forms of Water”, 2016, Oil on Linen, 30″ x 36″.
Land and water use have been political since the beginning of our time on earth. As these issues become increasingly critical, I have been catapulted —but also eased, nestled— into expanding the environmental discussion that until now has been mostly implied in my work, putting into context my decades-long celebration of the powerful beauty of our planet.
River with Lighthouse, 12″x36″, oil on linen.
Ebullient Winter, 18″x24″, oil on linen. (G)
My new Atlas Project maps my work while mapping the world, revealing a web of meaning around and between the individual pieces that I create. The matrix that connects all of my landscape imagery is saturated with memory, both personal and collective. To show these connections, I am working in one thematic grouping at a time, creating a legend, or site map, to each body of work. The Site Map is a key both to a given installation and to the region or theme that it explores.
The Site Map for Atlas/Hudson River Valley, the first of these exhibitions, is created with collage on a Rand McNally road map of the river valley, the Catskills, and our wider region. It contains numbered mini-monotypes of all of the oil paintings on view and corresponding map tacks showing the locale depicted on the map.
Site Map with Extensions, as it appears on the gallery wall.
Extensions of the Site Map include Mapping Memory, lino/mono prints of regional flora and fauna with written personal observations; a collaged and monoprinted map of the source of the river in the Adirondacks; a collage of the Hudson Canyon, extending 400 miles out to sea from NY Harbor; and a fourth extension discussing climate change and local impacts.
Using drawing, printmaking, pasteling, writing, and mixed-media along with oil paintings, I am exploring the interrelationships of process, history, and memory. These are revealed not only by air, land, and water but also by my materials and personal history as an artist, family and community member, and frequent inhabitant of the outdoor world.
The Atlas Project text is therefore a blend of natural history and personal memory. For the Atlas/Hudson River Valley site map I decided to tuck the text of my stories into an envelope that I created with rice paper. You can see these along the left-hand side of the Site Map, and an open one below:
Detail from left-hand panel, “Mapping Memory”.
Other bits of writing get more into the life-cycle of the wildlife depicted. I chose the species included in the map based on my interactions with them but also on a long-standing fascination. We probably all have these — how amazing, to me, is the Red Eft, so bright among the fauna of the NE United States? How cool is the life-cycle? Here is my story about these creatures:
It wasn’t until recently that I realized that the salamanders that I caught as a child near Oneonta, NY, are the same creatures as the Red Efts that I greet after every rain or heavy dew on the trails of the Catskills.
They have three life stages: the first after hatching in ponds; the second when they turn from brown to red and lose their gills, traveling on land for several years to find a new body of water. Finally, in their adult phase the tail widens, and they turn back into a greenish-brown color, living and breeding as aquatic animals with lungs to complete their 12-15-year life span.
At eight I was enamored of catching and releasing in a pond that we swam in during summer months. On one occasion I brought two newts home in a mayonnaise jar, stocked with moss and bits from the bottom of the pond. I changed the water every day with nearby creek water and left the jar under a big tree on our lawn, dropping in small insects from time to time.
One day I spotted eggs in the moss. Such anticipation!
A few days later we heard young voices coming from our front yard just after dark, and looked out to see two boys walking away. The next morning, I found my jar empty of water and newts, the eggs drying in the sun.
Reflected Suns, 32″x48″, oil on linen.
Printmaking become an integral part of Atlas/Hudson River Valley. Below are two monotype versions of the image used in “Reflected Suns”, exploring the more graphic possibilities of the medium.
MReflected Sun #2, 10″x16″, monotype. (Sold)
MReflected Sun #1, 10″x16″, monotype. (G)
And the mini-monotype on the Site Map (placement of these had to do with compositional concerns, as the numbers and map tacks are what identify the precise locales):
The first energy and ideas for this project evolved in 2016. That fall, I was experiencing profound grief over election results and their potential to set policy that will accelerate climate change. I was also contemplating a scheduled residency on Nantucket in February of 2017, and my upcoming 60th birthday later on that year. The second two factors prompted a question—how do I want to expand and deepen my range as an artist? The first, my accelerating concern over the health of our planet, gave me direction.
This extension to the Site Map addresses the issue of global warming:
These two recent monotypes reflect a view of a section of the Schoharie Creek valley in summer and then during the massive storm flooding caused by Irene:
MVroman’s Nose/Green Fields, 8″x10″. (Sold)
Vroman’s Nose/Flooded Fields. (Sold)
And two additional monotypes of our region:
MSweeping Sky with Fields, 8″x10″, monotype. (Sold)
MWhite Field #1, 8″x10″, monotype. (G)
The Nantucket residency produced a prototype Site Map where I first used the idea of making small monotype prints of the oil paintings to be included in the grouping or show. It is a very rich process, artistically, entering a new world as you are creating it, and also full of the discomfort of facing the unknown. To read about my residency, go to this link to my blog post:
I so loved the collaging-on-a-map process while working on the Site Map that I decided to create some of these as stand-alone art pieces. The first, below, leaves much of the under-map showing, and in addition to pattern and magazine papers; samaras, wasp galls, and other bits and bobs, I hand dyed some of the green papers used for the Catskill Park area.
Atlas/Hudson River, 18″x14″, mixed media/collage on Rand McNally Road Map on board. (Sold)
I live in the High Peaks area of the Catskills, so many of the pieces in this show are images of the mountains, roadways, streams, and of course, the Ashokan Reservoir, seen above in blue within the Park.
Esopus Mists, 12″x12″, oil on linen. (G)
Indigos with Glowing Light, 18″x24″. (Sold)
Affinity/Dusk Road, 30″x30″, oil on linen with frayed edges on primed board overlaid with graphite gridding.
Another collage, also of the River, is more tightly composed and with more contrast than the first, and includes the small river towns of Kingston, Rhinebeck, Poughkeepsie, and Newburg.
Atlas/HV Collage, 2 panels of 16″x8″/ea.
For the third, following my own lead with the Site Map extension, I hand-died rice papers in varied blues to reinterpret the Hudson Canyon, the below-water extension of the river itself.
Hudson Canyon Collage, 12″x12″. (G)
The Hudson River originates in Lake Tear of the Clouds, in a remote area of the Adirondacks, as pinpointed in the upper extension, above. It empties out into New York Harbor:
Harbor with Soft Light, 13″x20″, pastel on paper.
Many images are Hudson views between NYC and Hudson, NY. The stretch between Poughkeepsie and and Saugerties is well-traveled in the summer by us in our small lake boat. Lower sections are often views from bridges and the train.
2 Shores/Reflected Sun, 12″x12″, oil on linen.
Refracted Golds, 20″x40″, oil on linen. (Sold)
Downriver, 24″x24″, oil on linen.
River with Big Sky, 24″x30″, oil on linen. (G)
Rare Summer Silence, 20″x30″, oil on linen. (Sold)
River Island with Castle, 9″x36″, oil on board.
Gleaming Bridge, 20″x40″. (Sold)
Affinity/Shore Lights, 16″x8″, oil/linen/board/graphite gridding.
Red River Shore, 20″x30″. (Sold)
This is not a catalogue of all of the wonderful views of the HV and Catskills, but rather an organically created collection of a number of the paintings that I have done over the past 10 years or so of our region. In this way, the grouping is a bit of a retrospective.
I am frequently hiking and driving around both the East side of the Hudson, into the Berkshires, as well as the West side, reaching into of the foothills of the Catskills, providing sources for some favorite views of the river itself as well as farm fields and hillsides.
Triptych in Reds, 24″x24″/ea. panel, oil on linen.
Long Storm Cloud, 8″X28″, pastel on paper.
Meadow with Peaks, 14″X18″. (Sold)
Trees with Mists, 18″x48″, oil on linen. (G)
Mountain Sky/Blues, 24″x48″, oil on linen. (Sold)
“September Dawn”, 10″x28″, pastel on paper. (Sold)
Particularity of Place, 36″x36″, oil on linen. (G)
Layers of Meaning, 30″x24″, oil on linen. (Sold)
Snow Fields, 12″x12″, oil on linen. (G)
Snow Shadows, 12″x12″, oil on linen. (G)
The final study done for a large piece in oil, now sold, inspired by the Maya Lin Wave Field at Storm King:
Green Waves, 5″x28.5″, oil on paper.
My upcoming groupings will include Atlas/Forms of Water, and Atlas/Cape Cod, the former creating overlap with the place-based themes and requiring a different solution for the map (I am thinking maps, actually).
I alternate between focusing on aspects of this work that I am currently inventing and my continued immersion in my open, spacious landscape paintings, looking to draw it all together into a cohesive whole, mirroring the wholeness of life on earth.
Sweeping Greens/Jostling Trees, 28″x68″, oil on linen. (Sold)
A link to the Violet Snow article in the WoodstockTimes:
Many thanks to those who have helped this project along: my husband, Jack, for design and paste-up help; Kate McGloughlin of the Woodstock School of Art for teaching me monotype techniques; Mary Emery for inspiring my rediscovery of printmaking; The Artists Association of Nantucket for hosting the residency that advanced this work; Polly Law for brainstorming titles (including “Atlas Project” itself) and language with me; Jenny Nelson for being my sounding board; Loel Barr for showing me some of her cool collage techniques; Thompson Giroux Gallery for planning and mounting this large and complex solo show; Geoffrey Rogers for his expert framing; and Mark Loete for the perfect photographs of the Site Map and extensions.
This spring my mind has been on many of the seasonal imperatives, like creating new work for my galleries on the Cape and Islands and sorting through and shipping or delivering their selections. It has also, after a huge jump-start on my Atlas Project during my residency at the Nantucket Arts Association, been very much on advancing that exploration; and the spring has been spiced up by a few other new projects.
Mountain Sky/Blues, 24″x48″, newest piece, of the Catskills from the river.
I have scheduled a talk to discuss my Atlas Project for July 15 during the Shandaken Artists Studio Tour, 4:30-6pm. I am currently developing the third sequence, Atlas/Hudson Valley segment. This means that, in addition to other work in my studio, I will hang a grouping of each of the sections that I have been working on this year: Atlas/Forms of Water/Snow; Atlas/Island (Nantucket); and the most extensive sequence to date, the Hudson River and Catskills work and mapping thereof.
Red River Shore, 20″x30″.
In my studio work progresses on my third prototype map for this grouping, which will include mini-monotypes of the paintings involved; maps of various sorts of the area; and a number of other elements, both descriptive and visual. I am hoping that this map will be the working template that clicks for me so that I can use it for new groupings/exhibitions going forward. This involves lots of trial and error, applied problem-solving and then experimenting with the materials (maps, acrylics, printmaking, rice paper, collage, river mud, etc.).
I have found that when I pose myself a complex creative problem to be solved, following a simple process works quite well. I start by seeing how far I can think my way into it, often using moments when I am driving or walking, and when I hit an aspect or aspects that stump me, I plant those as a seed, and then let go of the conscious effort. Some time later—usually weeks—the answer will pop into my head, my subconscious having been at work on it all the while, sometimes aided by new information that comes my way in the interval.
Here is where I am so far with the latest Site Map and associated prints:
Work table with HV map in progress; site map for the Atlas/Island (Nantucket) grouping in the background.
Trees with Mists, 18″x48″.
Above and below are a few of the Hudson River & Valley/Catskills paintings that are part of the new sequence:
2 Shores, 12″x12″.
My new series is bringing me ever closer to the many aspects of the natural world that I have in the past observed, researched and delighted in. Which of these things and how they can manifest in the work is the adventure. As is true of most meaningful new endeavors, the space this holds for me is both stimulating and disquieting.
My first gallery show of Atlas/Hudson Valley is scheduled for 2018 at Thompson Giroux Gallery in Chatham, NY.
To view more oil paintings that are currently in my studio, click here:
During spring I am always preparing to deliver or ship new work to my galleries in Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and/or Cape Cod. Below are some new pieces at the Louisa Gould Gallery in Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard. She always has a beautifully installed grouping of my work on display throughout the year, so please stop by if you are on the island.
Summer Inlet, 48″x24″, 2017.
Sengekontacket Greens, 12″x12″, 2017.
Katama Field, 12″x12″, 2017.
Summer Wave, 12″x12″, 2017.
My residency at the Arts Association of Nantucket in February resulted in many advancements in my problem-solving curve for the Atlas Project; a number of small paintings; and some monotypes (see my blog post on the residency):
The five monotypes hanging below are a the results of printing sessions in both Woodstock and Nantucket.
And a few others:
Monotype/Green Marsh, 8″x10″.
Monotype/White Field #2, monotype and pastel, 8″x10″.
See more of my prints and pastels here:
In April I flew to South Florida to do a large painting for friends with a new house there. I managed to pack in one big suitcase everything I needed, including the 16″x20″ version of the wave image that I had painted ahead of time. The one thing that did not fit in my suitcase was the 48″x60″ stretched linen canvas, which we had shipped from my wonderful stretcher-makers in Vermont, Brickyard Enterprises.
I had exactly one week to do this large piece and so, concerned about the possibility of things going wrong, I put in long days for the first several, working under an overhang in the pool enclosure.
Happily, nothing did go wrong, so we had a finished piece on the wall ahead of deadline and then I got to play, spending time at the Morikami Gardens and the beach (more wave paintings to come!).
My winter-spring show with Albert Shahinian Fine Art wrapped up in early April. We had a nice run of of two receptions—one at the gallery and one at my studio; a number of sales of pieces small and large, old and new; and an interview with the Poughkeepsie Journal containing questions that I quite enjoyed:
March reception in my studio.
Several of the pieces that went to new homes from our show “Gallery/Studio: A Symbiosis”:
Glistening Greys, 10″X10″, oil on linen.
“White Trail”, 40″x30″.
Affinity/Duo/Palms, diptych of 2 paintings of 16″x8″/ea.
I am teaching four more workshops in 2017, several of them new. In my workshops I emphasize composition as well as color, and share not only my techniques, but also an eclectic delight in many styles and aspects of contemporary and historical art.
The Woodstock School of Art:
June 17-19, Sat.-Mon, 9-4pm, Form and Content: A Landscape Painting Intensive
Oct.28-30, Sat.-Mon. 9-4pm, Color Mixing for Landscape Painters.
The Nantucket Arts Association July 18-20,Constructing/Deconstructing the Landscape; and Mentoring for Artists, July 21.
Provincetown Artist Association and Museum, Sept. 11-14, Mon.-Thurs. 9:30-1:30, Abstraction and Narrative in the Landscape.
I have plans for some new pastels in the near future—its a good time of year to approach these, with the studio windows wide open (ah, and I must mention sounds of birds and the creek behind my studio), mitigating any effects of flying dust. Below is a fairly recent one, in which I was pushing the color somewhat.
Turquoise Sky/White Cloud, 20″x20″.
Over the years I have at times felt pressure from some of my galleries to work brighter. I am very often a moody painter, though I don’t ever want to limit myself to any palette, locale, format, or mood. I do love a bright sunny day, but painting dramatic clouds and subtle, tonal color often draws me, and many of my collectors will follow me into that terrain.
With the pastel above, I set myself the intention of not going as dark along the horizon as I often do in a seascape, and in general keeping the colors more saturated or desaturated with white instead of grey. I wanted to see if I could make myself happy with a lower contrast, brighter image. And I did.
This is turning a request, essentially, into a creative problem. When people ask me how and whether being a full time, self-supporting artist affects my decision-making in the studio, that is part of the answer—that if I feel that I am being nudged in a particular direction, can I turn that into an interesting problem? And after I work that one out, what else can I do that is generated exclusively by, to use Kandinsky’s term, inner necessity?
Cotue of the Scalloped Edges, 6″x10.5″.
Having a quiet chat during a lull in the reception…
“GALLERY:STUDIO – A SYMBIOSIS” is a retrospective and a culmination, presenting over 60 works drawn from a broad range of Scheele’s recent output – including paintings, pastels, monoprints and mixed-media. In designing this show, artist and gallery were keen on making more accessible to visitors and collectors the opportunity to acquire a painting (hence the special sale). As a culmination, the exhibit and sale end a significant period of Scheele’s aesthetic explorations, making time and space available for her focus on, and movement toward, a complex new project. Finally, important to both parties, this exhibit celebrates a friendship born, but not limited by, their respective callings as artist and art venue.
Light that Glows, 32″x60″. $7,500.
Soft Greys from Peaked Hill, 10″x60″, $4,200.
Green Waves, 12″x75″, $8,000. (Sold)
Rare Summer Silence, 20″x30″, $3,200.
Cranberry Bog in Reds, 48″x24″, $5,000.
Affinity/WinterSunset, 36″x48″, $6,500. (Sold)
“Extravagant Sky”, 36″X60″. $8,000.
Triptych in Reds, 3 panels of 24″x24″/ea., $7,500.
White Field, 20″x40″, $3,600. (Sold)
Angle of Repose, 40″x30″, $5,000.
Drifting Clouds, 20″x20″, $2,200. (Sold)
“Affinity/Dusk Road”, 30″x30″, $4,000.
Sunset with Taillights, 40″x20″, $3,800.
Sunset Contours, 20″X20″, $2,200. (Sold)
Sunset Harbor, 20″X16″.
Hill Beyond Hill, 3 panels of 24″x20″/ea., $7,000. (Sold)
Height of Summer, 36″x48″, $6,500 (sold).
Summer Fields, 30″x30″, $4,000.
Moving Sky, 30″x36″, $4,500. (Sold)
Juncture, 18″x52″, $4,200.
Affinity/In Motion, 48″x12″, $4,000.
Sundrenched Field, 20″x24″. $2,500. (Sold)
Skyblues/Seablues, 10″x8″, $800.
Winter in Blue/White, 12″x12″, $1,300. (Sold)
Angular Tidal Flats, oil on paper on 12″x12″ board. (Sold.)
Mauve Sky, 6″x12″, oil on board, $650. (Sold)
Affinity/Duo/Palms, 2 paintings of 16″x8″/ea, $2,000. (Sold)
Glistening Greys, 10″X10″, oil on linen. (Sold.)
Gold Bush, 10″x10″. oil on board, $700. (Sold)
2 Suns, 10″x10″, oil on board, $700. (Sold.)
“Study/Sunset Sea”, 5″x5″, oil on primed paper, $550.
Study/Skyline, oil on paper, 7″x7″, $700.
“Factory at Work”, 7.5″x3.5″, $600.
Affinity/Boatyard, 10″x10″, 2014, oil on linen with frayed edges on board overlaid with graphite lines, $900. (Sold)
“Hilltop Contour”, oil on a vintage child’s slate, $750.
Additional works at the gallery:
Gleaming Bridge, 20″x40″, $3,600.
Summer Sky over Divided Fields, 20″x24″, $2,500 (sold).
Black Treeline, 36″x48″, $6,500. (Sold)
Sweeping Greens/Jostling Trees, 28″x68″, $7,500.
Mists from Palmer Hill, 12″X36″, $2,800. (Sold)
Dawn Headlights, 12″X36″, $2,800.
RefractedGolds, 20″x40″, $3,600.
Favorite Field/Soft Greens, 3 panels of 12″X12″/ea., $3,200.
“Intervening Space”, 20″X20″, $2,200 (sold).
Stormy Sea, 12″X12″, $1,300.
Evening Shoreline, 12″X12″, $1,300.
Study/Mountain Contours, oil on primed paper, 4″x14″, $800.
Affinity/Bridge at Sunset, 12″x24″, $2,000.
Green Waves, oil on paper, $1,600.
“Conviction of Beauty”, 12″x42″.
Red Sky with Gleam, pastel on paper, 5″x12″, $800.
River Sunset, pastel on paper, 11.5″x19″, $1,600.
Mountain Fields, pastel on paper, 20″X24″, $2,500. (Sold)
White Trail, 40″x30″, $5,000. (Sold)
This post, designed primarily for the galleries and consultants that I work with, serves as a data-base for oil paintings that are currently in my studio. As work sells or is consigned I will remove it, and new or returned work will be added.
My website– created by Stephanie Blackman Design—was beautifully designed as a calling card. Since I create/sell/move work around frequently, it was never my plan to keep it current at all times. With this data-base I will have a comprehensive selection for you all to peruse and can reduce the number of emails that I send showing dealers my currently available work, as those become outdated quickly also.
Tree with Mists, 18″x48″, $4,600.
Often I am expecting some work back imminently or have a painting on the easel that is almost finished, so please feel free to inquire if you have a particular need: firstname.lastname@example.org. For works on paper (pastel; oil on paper; mixed media/collage; monotype) consult this blog post: https://scheeleart.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/available-workstudioworks-on-paper/
Interwoven Stories, 30″x60″, $7,500.
Boundless Summer, 24″x36″, $4,000.
Additional work can be found at my galleries: Albert Shahinian Fine Art in Rhinebeck, NY; Julie Heller Gallery in Provincetown, MA; Louisa Gould Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard, MA; Butters Gallery in Portland, OR; Thomas Henry Gallery on Nantucket, MA; and Thompson-Giroux Gallery in Chatham, NY.
Moving Sky, 24″x48″, $5,000.
Affinity/On the Grid, 36″x48″, $7,000.
Angle of the Cloud, 30″x36″, $4,500.
Color Field/Incoming Tide, 30″x30″, $4,400.
Affinity/Dusk Road, 30″x30″, $4,200.
Sunset in 5, five panels of 8″x8″/ea., $3,400.
Harbor with Sunset Mists, 24″x36″, $4,000.
Contrasting Sunset, 18″x52″, $4,800.
Downriver, 24″x24″, $3,200.
Red Line, 24″x48″, $5,000.
Harbor Statue with Ferry, 20″x24″, $2,500.
Blue Dawn, 12″x36″, $2,600.
River Island with Castle, oil on board, 9″x36″, $1,800.
River with Lighthouse, 12″x36″, $2,600.
Summer Moors, 2 panels of 12″x12″/ea., $2,200.
Lush Mists, 12″x36″, $2,600.
White Light/Green Light, 24″x24″, $3,200.
Sunset Roofline, 24″x30″, $3,600.
Affinity/Flatland’s Drive, 18″x18″, $1,800.
Embracing Pink, oil on board, 3 panels of 8″x8″/8″x10″/8″x8″, $1,800.
Marsh at Dusk, 14″x16″, $1,500.
Affinity/Return at Dusk, 12″x24″, $2,000.
Light into Dark, 12″X24″, $2,000.
Layered Clouds, 20″x16″, $2,000.
“Smokey Sky”, oil on a vintage slate.13.5×9,5, $1,000.
Affinity/Dual Twister, 10″x10″, $900.
Moors with Mists, 6″x24″, $1,500.
Affinity/Dusk Shoreline, 12″x16″. $1,400.
Gleaming Sky over Provincetown 11″x14″, $1,300.
Esopus Mists, 12″x12″, $1,300.
Swath of Blue, 12″X12″, $1,300.
Blue Night #2, 14″x11″, $1,200
Summer Cloudbank, 10″x30″, $2,000.
Mountain Sky, oil on 6″x6″ board, $500.
School Bus/Flooding, oil on 6″x6″ board, $500.
Harbor, oil on board, 6″x6″, $500.
Farm Pond, oil on 14″x12″ board, $600.
“Contour/Distillations” has been extended to October 11th.
We are tremendously drawn by stuff. The content of our lives—acquiring possessions; taking care of or replacing said possessions; packed schedules; busy brains—loudly demands attention. What we need the most for balance is intervals of the absence of our stuff, and yet it is hard to reset and choose openness over content.
“Blue Tidal Pool”, 20″x24″.
Creating space in my life is an ongoing project, and has long drawn me both to spend a great deal of time outdoors and to paint my landscapes in an open and minimalist manner. This approach quiets the mind, evoking a direct response. Abstract elements can elicit deep, complex feelings, (a theme beautifully explored in Vassily Kandinsky’s 1910 “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”) and larger, flatter shapes with soft edges awaken the wide-open feeling of being outdoors in our atmospheric world.
Delving further into the less-is-more discussion, I think that less is different. If there are many details to look at in a painting they tend to compete for attention, creating an experience that remains purely visual or intellectual without going deeper. With fewer elements and more open space, both the emotional and formal content have enormous impact, often visceral. At the same time, what is there has to hold up under analysis, as there is no hiding.
Layered Clouds, 20″X16″.
My process in the studio is comprised of long swaths of time in which I am intensely focused and living within the emerging painting, punctuated by intervals of scrutiny and analysis during which I observe the elements with as much distance as possible. This rigor is, ultimately, what allows the viewer to sink into the piece—-many small just-so decisions to create a seamless whole.
Diagonal Flux, 36″X36″.
The landscape inevitably holds powerful associations, so painting it becomes a back-and-forth between exploring the narrative and focusing on the formal elements of shape, composition, surface, color, and edge. In this body of work, drawn from the past several years, I am presenting the most open, color-field aspect of my work. Viewers can bring their own memories to these paintings, as mine are only suggested, or simply experience them as a conduit for feeling.
“Affinity/Dusk Road”, 30″x30″.
Both the above and below are from my Affinity Series. These pieces start with fraying the edges of raw linen; gluing it down to the board; priming with dark primer, and gridding the whole thing with graphite. Then I do the actual painting, and when it dries some selective regridding. The series evolved from the desire to manipulate my support in a way that moves my other choices in a more abstract direction, and brings attention to the surface.
“Affinity/Black Trees”, 30″x30″. (Sold)
Sometimes, as in the new postcard piece, “Tender Reds”, there are more shapes included. I see this as being a rhythmic approach—repetition of similar shapes moving across the surface of the painting.
“Tender Reds”, 32″x70″.
This piece is less minimalist, but just as abstract. The reduced palette with a white sky allows it to hover between a dreamy in-the-moment being there and an on-the-surface color-field painting.
If one were to consider this as a totally abstract piece, the exercise would be to turn it sideways, or upside down. Compositionally, upside down would work very well, but not sideways—too strong of a horizon line, now going vertical. This would be true of every painting I do—abstracted, but not abstract, and usually with a clear horizon line as an anchor.
“White Trail” has a number of horizons, but the strong line in this piece moves on a skipping, slightly diagonal vertical, emphasizing the format. This piece, too, has a sense of rhythmic repetition of forms.
“White Trail”, 40″x30″.
I have been exploring for this show how a large composition can be successful in small format with these oil-on-paper pieces.
“Study/Gleam over Tidal Flats”, 6″x10″.
“Study/Sunset Sea”, 5″x5″, oil on primed paper.
Quiet, tonal color is most often my choice, as it tends to sit back, creating emotional space and allowing for introspection.
“Autumn Bay Mists”, 18″x52″.
But every so often I like to move to stronger color to intensify the timbre of the experience. Whites work well—like a thirst-quenching drink of water— when paired with strong, saturated color.
“Sunset Reflected”, 12″x36″.
Most of my pieces have quite a bit of contrast, moving from an atmospheric white or off-white (often tinged with a bit of Mars Violet) to a true black. I find, though, that low-contrast pieces can be intensely riveting in a different way, kind of like a full-throated, low hum. “Evening Shoreline”, below, is an example of this.
Evening Shoreline, 12″X12″.
“Continuing Progression” is really a study in monochromes. The detail of the row of trees on the right, seemingly very subtle, actually pops more because of the reduced palette.
Continuing Progression, 24″x48″. (sold)
The body of work presented represents the core of my thinking, my base of operations. Albert Shahinian Fine Art, my gallery of longest standing, is the perfect venue for this theme-based exhibition, having shown, over the years, every possible exploration that I have launched from this base.
I hope you can join us for the reception on July 25th and my talk on August 2nd to see all 40 pieces and hear more about landscape, form and mood.
Link to a short but sweet article on the show by Paul Smart in the Almanac:
The installation and reception, below:
Installation shot, wall with Affinities.
With my old friend Deb at the reception.
Installation shot, wall with postcard piece.
Additional work in the show:
Drifting Clouds, 20″x20″.
Approach in November, 6″x24″.
“Lush Mists”, 12″X36″.
Hill Beyond Hill, 3 panels of 24″x20″.
Winter Field, 10″x30″. (Sold)
Dawn Headlights, 12″X36″.
Cranberry Bog, 48″x24″.
Stormy Sea, 12″X12″.
Glowing Mountain Mists, 20″X30″. (Sold)