I painted Still Life with Blue Bottle during the winter after my father’s illness and death. A quiet still life.
Still Life With Blue Bottle 8 x 10 oil on board
These selected pieces reflect my continuing interest in the figure as a form, but also as a vessel of memory. While I draw from live models regularly, the paintings are imagined, not painted from life. These are paintings I needed to do, based on versions of personal experience and observation — having fully imagined them and been unable to proceed further without getting them onto the canvas. At that point, the impetus fades and the work takes on a life of its own.
By the Pond 12 x 16 oil on canvas
Waiting 20 x 12 oil on canvas
“Bougainvillea” (below) is my delayed response to my mother’s asking me to do a painting
of flowers for her. I could never seem to find a way to approach that subject,
until I lived in California and was overwhelmed by raging, ubiquitous, masses of
bougainvillea. I did not have the time to consider them until this year, from
sketches I had done in 2001. It was only after I closed the gallery that I had
the necessary time to release these wild, delicate blooms from my memory.
Bougainvillea 12 x 12 Oil on Canvas
Let us know if you have a specific need for your home or office, or for a special gift. We have contacts with artists throughout the Hudson Valley, and internationally who represent all styles, sizes and media. The one constant is the high quality of all the artists we represent and exhibit.
Barbara Esmark My Girl Encaustic and Oil Paint 9″ x 7 ” an earlier piece from 2007
To see a larger selection of new work in beGallery take a look at our latest post B-log, or use the website’s top bar “B-log.”]]>
We have three wonderful pieces from reknown Oxacan painter Juan Carlos Breceda. Yes, that is a fantastic square bull! Breceda’s pieces are so charming they make one smile, yet so masterful in design and use of color they are works to return to again and again to find new passages of light and space. These works are acrylic and pastel – an unusual combination – that combines the texture of pastel with the depth of color of the acrylic for a unique visual experience. Each measures 29″ x 22 ” and is $1200 unframed. Contact the gallery to discuss framing options.
Also in the gallery are works by Ronaldo Glaubitz. Glaubitz is one of the border artists; his father an anglo from the states, his mother Mexican from Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. I’ve been following and collecting Ronaldo’s work since the late 80’s when he did mostly portraits of local denizens of Rosarito and his family and friends. He’s currently painting urban scapes, configurations of figures, buildings, and energy with a very edgy, contemporary visual vocabulary. But the pieces are densely patterned and bring to mind not only his life in the highly populated cities of Tijuana and San Diego, but the intricate lacquered boxes and tapestries of Mexican artisans that are also part of his heritage. Ronaldo’s pieces are 13″ x 15″ framed and are $275.]]>
Barbara Esmark’s quiet be Gallery in High Falls is always full of elegant surprises, but few as sweetly redolent as the new “Drawing on Dreams” two-person exhibition of surreal bronze and terra cotta dream scenes by Ilka List and lyrical new pen-and-ink drawings by longtime Kingston artist Lynne Friedman, inspired by a recent residency at an Irish artists’ retreat. Together, the new works serve as a starting point for a deep exploration of the various landscapes of mind, spirit and tangible world that we inhabit.
“Dreams are portraits of the self painted in the nonverbal depths of the unconscious,” says List of her latest. “They are the deepest reflections of our energy patterns and our hidden needs and thoughts. If we study them, we find they tell us about our lives and suggest our significant individual destinies. We can each discover our own true direction from their intimate secrets.” The result is a list of characters, known and new, ranging from turtles, wolves and dogs to one Blind Beth Chip: a personal iconography lent added weight and stolidity by the artist’s current media.
Friedman, meanwhile, found that her recent sojourn at the Guthrie Center in County Monahan allowed her to shift from a usually colorful palette to “find inspiration in the indomitable cycles of the natural world. The impulse that transforms experience and idea into visual form is the acknowledgment of transience and the possibility of renewal.” The two artists’ works, seen together, lift each other like a classic pas de deux, playing off the exhilaration of new discoveries and the inner journeys that we all need and take these quieter months of the year.
The new show opens Sunday afternoon, December 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. and stays up into mid-January. Be Gallery is located at 11 Mohonk Road, just beyond the High Falls hamlet center. For further information visit www.begallery.com or call (845) 687-0660.]]>
We had a wonderful discussion this past Sunday with Lynne Friedman and Ilka List. The artists spoke about the process and content of their work and there were enthusiastic and dyanmic responses from the fine group present for the occasion.
Discussion ranged from the technical aspects of casting in bronze, to the psychedelic properties of the “Reina de la Noche” or queen of the night, depicted in Friedman’s Costa Rica pen and ink. The current show at MOMA of Christine Dumas that was reviewed “warmly” in the preceding Friday’s New York Times, sparked quite a conversation about quality, fame and money as they relate to the art world.
Friedman shared a great deal of information about how she works, approaches the blank page and finds herself immersed in a series without really deciding to do so. With all of that, she hesitates to clearly identify what inspires her work, allowing the “mystery” that is the creative drive to remain somewhat in a mist. The series of pen and ink drawings are not “botanicals” in the strict sense to Friedman, but rather studies reflecting life and renewal through natural forms. A lifelong artist and teacher, she poses the idea that working itself is a major catalyst to discovery and, as part of that process she carries with her a small sketch pad at all times, saying, “One cannot really know something until one draws it.”
Ilka List recounted the original source of the imagery of her bronze wall sculptures - the Jungian process of dream interpretation. She read from her diaries of dreams that served as the well spring for the current body of work. The turtle as a Chinese symbol of feminine energy, the ocean as creativity, from which life comes, the character “Blind Beth Chip” and bread loaves that bake and never burn, speaking to the eternal nature of the self and, like Friedman, the idea of renewal. When speaking about transforming the dream imagery into the clay piece, List discussed the formal visual forces that come into play that do not exactly replicate the dream imagery. When asked what “wins out” over the battle between the original dream and the clay, her answer without hesitation: “the clay.”
As always, thanks to our attendees and the artists, the morning was stimulating and entertaining.
Stay tuned for upcoming events.
Ilka List’s Bronze and Terra Cotta sculptures, inspired by her dreams and poetic pen and ink drawings of Lynne Friedman, inspired and created during her residency at the Guthrie Center in Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan, Ireland, blend for a new show that explores the landscapes of the mind, spirit and tangible world.
As part of her creative journey, over an extended period of time List pursued and perused her dreams to reveal the inner workings of her psyche. According to List, “Dreams are portraits of the self painted in the non-verbal depths of the unconscious. They are the deepest reflections of our energy patterns and our hidden needs and thoughts. If we study them we find they tell us about our lives and suggest our significant individual destinies. We can each discover our own true direction from their intimate secrets.” Through this process she met the characters who “peopled” her dreams, including Blind Beth Chip, as well as turtles, wolves, dogs and others who embody the symbolic or archetypical in the myth and culture of many lands and ages. “Helping the Turtle to the Sea,” shown on the HOME page of this site, is a group effort of a young girl to guide a giant sea turtle making its way from the beach, back to the ocean, chaperoned by two small dogs.
No stranger to myth or legend, Ireland was the misty, rainy, cloudy impetus for Friedman to turn slightly inward, and to decline to do the expressive and colorful oil paintings for which she is known, in favor of quiet, strong and poetic pen and ink drawings. “Changing Weather,” is a three layered drawing that epitomizes the Irish experience for Friedman - stone, field and clouds moving across a horizontal page. Using the conservatory and the small village and hills near her Irish studio, Friedman used ink and wash to “find inspiration in the indomitable cycles of the natural world. The impulse that transforms experience and idea into visual form is the acknowledgement of transience and the possibility of renewal.” Friedman remained committed to this form of expression through her transatlantic journey home, and continued the series on more familiar terrain here in the Hudson Valley. Shown with Ilka’s tender, personal and evocative imagery brings together the innner landscape and the natural world around us.]]>
Caballo en Ciudad by Juan Carlos Breceda
The gift of art - enduring, meaningful and something for all to share.
Art is many things to many people. Some of our friends define themselves as “art slaves,” traveling to galleries, museums, shops, always drawn to the art and artists wherever they are. Always finding something. It can be delightful and charming, or thought provoking and moody. Sometimes a small drawing will draw you in. And, draw you to the artist.
I see art as a way to develop an ongoing relationship with an artist whose work touches you. And that relationship is not static, it changes as we change over the years. How you look at a piece after first buying it, and how it endures over the years is one of the more fascinating aspects of collecting. And, like old friends, sometimes rehanging your collections (not that you would hang your friends) lets you see the work in a different way, as seeing old friends in a new relationship, new city or just after a long while.
Many of beGallery clients come back time and again to see the work of artists they collect and to select a new piece, or just to say how much they enjoy having the piece in their home or office.
As many of my art slaves friends, I find browsing in an art gallery to be a respite from the frantic world – sometimes providing a path to understanding that very world. If I find something I must have - all the better. But if not, I’ve seen the world in a different way through the eyes of others. And the juices are flowing.
I’m excited about the new show DRAWING ON DREAMS, and the new work by gallery artists, including the Breceda from Mexico shown here. Some have been selected - and priced - for gift giving. Stop by and tell me what you think.]]>
beGallery owner, Barbara Esmark, was recently interviewed by Hudson Valley Connoisseur Magazine about the basics of art collecting.
Read the complete article (PDF file, 684K).]]>
“Chapel Farm Barns,” one of the area’s most well known views, is transformed by the pallet and atmosphere in Laura Coffey’s oil on canvas, 48″ x 60″.
This update is also an opportunity to thank you for making our third spring and summer such a successful season at the Gallery - our best yet!
Many of you have told me that buying art, and enjoying the ongoing relationship with the artist is the best investment one can make. With the economic downturn in our country, it seems that we are turning inward and paying attention to those things that will have enduring value to us. For many of you, that is art.
I’ve always said, and I am certainly not alone, that we should buy art - first - because we love it or it speaks to us in a meaningful way. As for an investment, most of the art and the work by artists in be gallery, will increase in value over time. Time here is the operative word, and that could be a generation, or several. But our artists are committed to their work, whether they have been working for five years or 25 years, and the response to the quality of be Gallery exhibitions and selections continues to draw you to us.
I’ve been working more as an “art-finder” or consultant this year, finding works of art that fill a specific need, desire, or even place. I’ve have made so many connections with artists from all over the country (and beyond) that working as a consultant was also a way to avoid being contained by the gallery space - which no matter how large is always overflowing. I find working with clients in their own space to be extremely creative.
We have also responded to requests for commissioned work and have had some fantastic results.
Shown here is a table by Charles Atwood King commissioned by one of our clients. Charlie’s new paintings are in the gallery now, and he has been one of our biggest sellers since his show in October of 2006. His twig furniture and accessories are charming and whimsical. Here, he was commissioned to build a base for an mid-20th century glass top that was originally set in a brass base, very 60s. Charlie combined an Asian Chippendale design with the traditional Adirondack silver birch twig technique which blended perfectly with the collectors’ contemporary home.
I HOPE YOUR AUTUMN is as brilliant and inspiring as the foliage that has begun to turn in this glorious part of the world, and I hope to see you soon.
Barbara (Bobbi) Esmark]]>
Reception and talk at be Gallery in
High Falls kicks off new Judith Hoyt Exhibition
Judith Hoyt may be the region’s quintessential contemporary artist. born and raised in the Catskill Mountains, she started taking classes at the innovative Art Awareness artists’ colony in Lexington during its heyday in the 1970s, when the rural site became a creative hot bed for printmakers and image-makers, performance artists and site-specific sculptors. She was 15 at the time and went on to get an Art degree at SUNY-New Paltz, in whose vicinity she eventually settled to raise two sons – and begin experimenting in collage techniques using found metal and other treasures that she started accumulating.
Eventually, Hoyt discovered the region’s current medium of choice: encaustics (made at Kingston’s influential R& F paints). She started showing her sophisticated takes on the folk idiom regionally and, increasingly, on a national and international basis. Her work were picked up by a host of major cultural institutions and private collectors. She created her own iconography, with each piece a quiet narrative all its own.
Through it all, she stayed local–and kept her prices, by and large, well below the $1,000 threshold that has long kept local collectors at bay. That means, at this point, that Hoyt has become one of those artists whose works are everywhere in the region and increasingly redolent and defining of its particular strengths elsewhere.
“My collages are about old material used to create new work depicted in scraps of paper, fabric and found metal,” she has said of her work in simple, uncompromising terms matching her quiet, unobtrusive persona. “I rescue metal from alongside the road, pages from old books and discarded fabrics from another time. This material is discolored, corroded and misshapen by the random process of history – a history that gets passed on to the figures.”
Her encaustic works – usually square-shaped and dense with imagery and textures beneath layers of wax encasements – are like opened drawers in a forgotten relative’s closed-up home. they feel mysterious, somewhat sad; and yet all incorporate a childlike sense of wonder that’s inevitably enlivening.Her sculptures feel like dreamscapes come to waking life, somewhat ancient and very new simultaneously. New, now, are a series of pendant pieces that are basically small paintings or sculptures that one wears, and then displays when not worn.
It all makes for a fabulous viewing, seen together as in the new “Twice Told Tales” exhibit of new works at Barbara Esmark’s BE Gallery in High Falls. The same venue is also hosting a serenely fabulous show of the Gallery’s other fine artists upstairs during the current run, including great new pieces by such local favorites as Deirdre Leber, Lynne Friedman, Sara Harris, Anique Taylor and great new discoveries Greg Arnett and Laura Coffey.
The Hoyt show runs from July 4 through August 11.