“Artists Capture their Surroundings” at Art League of LI & Other Venues

Note: Postings began in late September 2016 and will be  continuous  — currently through October 2016.  (Active links are embedded for more information.


The Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills, NY offers a Monday “Dab of Paint” free lecture series in the Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery.

On Monday, September 26, I attended Debbie Wells’ comprehensive and fascinating exploration of how  known artists  — realists, impressionists, abstract and other contemporary —  artists captured their surroundings in their artistic works.

The gallery was filled with art enthusiasts and practicing artists, and students, aptly surrounded by the masterful paintings of landscapes by David Peikon, a popular and successful artist-instructor at the Art League. Besides landscapes, there was another floor of  portrait on display. As an observer, I felt transformed, enveloped in the art world from the perspective of this gifted artist.



Debbie Wells received applause, as she wrapped up the presentation, and we were free to tour the gallery. I met David Peikon, when his show opened. I thought he was a student admiring the work of the artist and commented that although I don’t paint as a realist and don’t want to, preferring abstract expressionism, I do have a great appreciation for realism when done masterfully, and the paintings I was looking at were certainly museum  quality. That is when the humble man told me he was the artist.  He mentioned he painted the portrait of one of the billionaire Koch brothers and has been selling his work after retiring from a printing career twenty years ago to do art full-time. I particularly liked “Purple Rain” which was impressionistic.  If you want to be enthralled and you will appreciate a traditionalist, then certainly don’t miss the show!

…The exhibition in the gallery (following Peikon’s),is the LI Craft Guild’s “Branching Out.” I took a tour of the first floor of the two-level exhibition and the calibre of work was top-notch. There were display cases with original handcrafted jewelry, exotic wall hangings and other fabric art pieces, and pottery, authentic and organic glass sculptures, and more. I took some shots with my iPhone, and hope it’s okay to include a favorite, Rosanne Ebner’s “Goddesses 3,”She indicated it’s  inspired by an ancient Egyptian female figure ca. 3500 BCE. The talented artist was communicating the connection, she said, between the Goddesses and Mother Earth and reminding us that we must take care of our environment. In essence, one can conclude the message that the goddesses take care of Mother Nature and we take care of Mother nature and Mother Nature takes care of us. I assume that is why there are three, for the Godess idol, Mother Nature as Goddess and those who must take responsibility for nurturing the nurturer Mother Nature — thus tripled forces of nurturer  energy/power.  I am not sure if my interpretation of what the artist indicated is what she meant in full, but that is what I believe it means when further examined.




There’s a lot more at the Art League site: www.artleagueli.org


A major annual event not to be missed was the Art Walk in Huntington, on Saturday, October 22, which was well attended, even in the rain. It was easy to “follow the balloons” vs.  “follow the yellow brick road” and use of a list with map in hand.  There were 8 stops within a mile.  A tour of all the galleries in Huntington, NY, it included Heckscher Museum of Art, the Huntington Historical Society, Huntington Art Center, Huntington Arts Council, and more.


thumb_img_0226_1024Perhaps you saw me at the Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery (where I have two of my paintings in the Conversations in Color  juried exhibit). Kerry Irvine was the juror, I met her for the first time at the exhibit’s reception earlier,  and was startled to see her again (with her fabulous abstracts and admirers)  at Eileen Kathryn Boyd Interiors,  a the #4 stop on the  tour route.


I was on my way to the BJ Spoke Gallery, after chatting with a fellow painter (Vincent Joseph, whose unique “Ladder” abstract was on the same wall with my work),  I headed over to the  BJ Spoke Gallery where the abstract artist (also in Conversations in Color) Lorraine Nuzzo  happened to be, for award winning photographer Niki Kniffin’s “Visual Exploration of the world through color photography” exhibit, which opened on October 8. Niki is a charming woman who enjoys travel and capturing the beauty that abounds in nature and built structures.She gave me permission to post her postcard. Check out Niki’s site, and you’ll see how well-traveled, observant and talented she is.



Kevin Larkin, (abstract painter and an art instructor at the Art League of LI), advised me to check out the LaunchPad. I’m glad I did, because I  was pleasantly surprised to see an exhibit of photography and paintings in a business setting. The LaunchPad, helps new small businesses take off. The white walls were filled with local art, as a contribution  of space and enthusiasm for the Huntington Village Art Walk community spirit.It was a day when Huntington village was transformed into Chelsea, Soho, Paris, where art is what everyone is conscious of, viewing, experiencing (and hopefully purchasing). It was the center of the “Art World” for a day.


… On October 15 (as a birthday gift to myself), I attended the Chelsea Galleries South tour with Artful Circle. We visited the following several galleries, including Hauser &Worth — to see Rashid Johnson’s racial discrimination-motivated creations; David Zwirmer to see Oscar Murillo’s work and others, including a pop portrait artist, plus the angry and the truly bizarre with slats for eyes of Klu Klux Klan hoods.  The 303 Gallery featured collections of suspended paintings in various frames, each clustered by similar content;  For example, landscapes together, seascapes together, portraits together, nudes together. Frames were as varied as the artists (mostly unknown). The paintings were created by someone other than the “arranger” (of acquired art)/professional appraiser, Hans-Peter Feldman who put the pieces together as acquisition art. Perhaps he painted the clown noses on several portraits, but he created not a single painting. Yet, suspended from the lofty ceilings on transparent string, the arrangements were captivating and a statement to me, that art is all around us and no matter who creates it, it colors our lives.  I did think it disconcerting that none of the artists whose work (selected at garage sales, estate sales, auctions, and by other means), never received individual recognition in the show. Each was part of a larger whole, a grouping, selected by Mr. Feldmann. One could only wonder why he made the selections he did and what he was really expressing.  When  many artists cannot secure gallery exhibitions in Chelsea, it seems absurd to place unoriginal artwork, while denying active artists  that space  to introduce their talents.  Hey, I would like to exhibit in  Chelsea. Some people may see value in the quirky exhibition, as a collector’s unique method of organizing his inventory and showcase others’  castoffs for one last hurrah.


Markus Linnenbrink's exhibit at Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallery
Markus Linnenbrink’s exhibit at Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallery



If you like lines, Markus Linnenbrink is showing  them in varied colors, even in a huge ball of color. It is impressive;  strikes me as technical skill with hand-eye coordination at perfection level. It does not express not life-altering expressive  creativity.

Colored narrow lines must be an art fashion statement of late; or  maybe great mind’s are thinking alike, since Fred Sandback’s “Vertical Constructions” consist of lines of colored coated strings stretched floor to ceiling, constructing doorways and invisible windows, where none really exist. Sandback constructs instead of deconstructing, the only thing is he creates optical illusions instead of using actual wood and nails and plasterboard. All is left to respect for the imagination and perception.


Although the photo above is shown as a vertical box, it actually lies horizontal on the wall of the gallery, as do other versions of colorful lines by the same artist. The lines, as if a pattern for relationship of  things — other items in one’s environment. The pattern appears fully wrapped around  a giant shiny ball. It attracts attention and  is pleasing to observe the integration of the design.

On the evening of October 2o, I attended an Artful Circle tour of the famous and exclusive artist’s Salmagundi Club at 47 Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village. It was a gem tucked away in one of the last grand village brownstones. Treasures astounded me —  paintings and signed  mugs and palettes of generations of fine artists were within reach. There was a public auction of great paintings by the club’s esteemed members that was as spectacular in quality as any museum visit. What an honor to be a guest in another of the Artful Circle’s events. I wanted to join the club, but they are among the great bastions of representational art, vs. Abstract. I was breathless in the library, the massive collection of art books dating back perhaps to the founding of the club in 1871, and the story of the ghost were intriguing. Tim Newton provided the backstory and tour, which included a ghost story of his own. , (As I was leaving the library, I said to  my friend, that  I did not sense the ghost, and I am very ‘sensitive’ and, when I said it, right  where it was supposed to have been detected, I heard fingernails tapping on the window!  Of course, I had the requisite chills.)

Dining in the Salmagundi Club is a treat. One feels like a time-warp has been entered and you’re in the late 19th Century. There are several courses and appetizers to choose from, and highly recommended is the famous Salmagundi beef stew (sold out when I tried to order it, that’s how popular it is). I polled the other diners and every one of them enjoyed their meals. The entree’s were delicious. Simple fare made extraordinaire by a fantastic chef. Service was excellent too. You can’t have lunch there, only dinner, and I think you must be a guest of a member, but I’m not sure, so it wouldn’t hurt to visit or call the club first.

I would give the restaurant five out of five stars and the club as well. Check it out for yourself!

Salmagundi Art Club Library
Tim Newton of the Salmagundi Club
Entry area of the Salmagundi Club

salamagundi-club-copyArt Auction at the Salmagundi Art Club

Debbie Wells, Co-Founder of Artful Circle
Debbie Wells, Co-Founder of Artful Circle and member of the Salmagundi Club










Special note: the generously donated  Lorraine Graves Grace Library was  dedicated on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016 at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills, NY. The close-knit fine Grace family members were at the event, which was well attended. The library is a  contribution that will  enhance art awareness and education for artists and students at the Art League for years to come.




Stolen Dutch paintings recovered in Ukraine
15 April 2016
From the section Europe from the BBC

“Ukraine says it has recovered four paintings from a haul of 24 that was stolen from a gallery in the Netherlands more than a decade ago.
The haul of 16th and 17th century paintings was worth €50,000 (£40,000; $56,000) when stolen from the Westfries Museum in the city of Hoorn in 2005.
The four recovered works had been “in the possession of criminal groups”, Ukraine’s foreign minister said.
Reports say they were recovered from Ukrainian ultra-nationalists.
The museum said in December that two men, reportedly from a Ukrainian nationalist militia, had presented a picture of one of the paintings to the Dutch embassy in Kiev.
At the time, Dutch media reported that the men had said they had found the entire stolen collection and demanded millions of euros for the haul’s return.

The BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse investigates how 24 paintings, stolen over a decade ago, fell into the hands of Ukrainian militia
Ukrainian authorities gave no more details on how the four paintings were recovered.
Vasyl Grytsak, the head of Ukraine’s state security service, said the first painting was recovered in early March, followed by a second in early April and two more on Thursday. ‘A preliminary examination has determined they are authentic,’ Mr Grytsak told a press conference.”



Student Art Exhibit, Oct. 27 -Nov 5. The promising young artists will be in costume. The art demonstrates a lot of talent. I caught a preview today when I picked up “Chaos” and “Mask” paintings from the “Conversations in Color” exhibit. In fact, I spotted a brilliant “pen and dirt” drawing by Shiloh Benincasa of a mad scientist as a bloodshot eyeball in a laboratory filled with jars with brains and brain parts. Really creepy work for the show was mostly executed as if done by much more mature artists. I recommend the show if you want to be inspired, seeing what “kids” can do with a little encouragement to express themselves based on a theme. Happy Halloween!


Lorraine Rimmilin, Watercolorist and Great Instructor at the Art League of LI
Lorraine Rimmilin, Watercolorist and Great Instructor at the Art League of LI

“Acknowledging the Negative

During the weekend, I attended a fantastic workshop, “Acknowledging the Negative” with the accomplished LI watercolorist, Lorraine Rimmelin, at the Art League of Long Island, in Dix Hills.  The League has numerous great classes and the best working artists providing the instruction. It seemed everyone was having a good time, and we all got along and I have a new appreciation of those who pursue watercolor. It seems to be taught with groupings gathering at the front table to watch demonstrations of what to do next. I saw this in two other sessions I observed, so it must be the way watercolor painting is best taught. “Look and Learn.”  Lorraine  had prepared many practical exercises and sample washes and sample exercises of her own, to show us specifically what we must do  to accomplish, building to the finale –a painting  with layers of depth of  leaves and flowers, in quasi-masterpieces of our own. I’m a newbie with watercolor,  and I did not create a single semblance to a masterpiece, although some of the other women who’d been more familiar with the strategies and techniques and experienced in watercolor painting did create beautiful paintings, even when unfinished. I have no illusion of becoming a professional watercolorist. But I did feel like a kid again, having fun, rather than feeling defeated by my lack of skill and knowledge. I must commend the instructor for sharing her vast experience, skill and talent with all of us. We learned the importance of using the “negative space” to create depth and complexity in otherwise potentially flat imagery.  I started the class  wanting  to learn the fundamentals in a step-by-step approach by a skilled artist/teacher.   And that I have found at the League. I highly recommend Lorraine Rimmelin’s watercolor classes.  Thus far, I completed the first of two introductory sessions and the  Acknowledging the Negative was for newbie and oldie. Gee, for me it is a new form of self-expression. For someone else, it may be different. Several other watercolorists have their followings, but  as a former educator (second career) I know superb teaching when I see it.

Attendees in Lorraine’s two-day Acknowledging the Negative workshop. Photo from Lorraine’s blog site. I am third from the right. The Executive Director of the Art League is on the far left, Charlee Miller and Lorraine is at the far right.

“Try it, you’ll like it!”  My late-mother, artist Betty had recommended I take up watercolor painting, as she had liked to paint in watercolor; She urged me to learn how. Loyal to acrylics, I  refused to try it.  Acknowledging her and her influence, missing her, I realized she was right when it came to my pursuit of art as career, I tried it watercolor painting with the right teacher, and surprisingly,  I do like it.Granted it is difficult in its complexity, and requires a lot of practice and experience. I admire those who stick with it.  You might like to check out Lorraine’s blog and website.


4 thoughts on ““Artists Capture their Surroundings” at Art League of LI & Other Venues

    1. Thank you for the acknowledgment. I’m doing it because it is fun and I want to share the great art and experiences I have with art related programs. I’d love to hear about all the art shows and other art news from fellow art enthusiasts.

  1. This is a beautifully written summary of my workshop and I thank you for that. The artists attending the classes direct the level of fun and this workshop’s attendees brought a harmonious sense of their joy of painting to the room, You, my friend are an asset to the class. Thanks, Lorraine

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