Monday, October 9, I attended my first meeting of the Independent Artist Association, at the Plainview-Old Bethpage library. Attendance was at maximum capacity. The winners of the current members’ exhibit in the library were announced and applause followed. It was a warm group of artists. Each seemed to know one another. There was raffle for beautiful pen& ink landscapes and other images by the fine artist, Charles Fillizola. He spoke about the best pens he recommends, especially good is “Graphic by Dewint”. It is a permanent ink pen and when you done you can throw it out. He also recommended Swathmore acid-free bristol board and acid free mats and mat backs. Otherwise the paper will yellow and the mats will discolor the paper the drawing is on, and your art is decimated over time.
He was completing a drawing in black & white, based on a watercolor painting he had as his model. He was fast with a quickness only a highly skilled and practiced artist could accomplish. The audience of artists watched on a screen as his efforts one stroke, a series of lines, were drawn. It was a long process for those anxious to find out who won the artwork on the table for display.
I had created many pen and ink, black and white drawings in my youth, and won awards among adults when only in high school. My mother would enter my elaborate, mostly surrealistic drawings (pen & ink favorite medium), as she believed in my talent. Now, I favor painting. I have always doodled and continue to do so. I already had first hand experience, so when the demonstration included mention, I already knew about the rapidograph pens clogging and the india ink leaving blots of ink, being harder to control; I knew about the micro pens and Derwint’s. and the importance of acid-free everything. I excused myself to view the art show. Fine work demonstrating a level of mastery was apparent. Most of the artists leaned towards classical representational art. Some were more expressionistic or even in a couple of cases chanced the abstract. Phyllis Coniglio won a prize for one of her abstracts, and fist place went to an artist who did an abstract composition, and best in show was humanistic, representational.
The President of IAS, (which was established in 1951), is Ruth Siegel and the meetings are once each moth, usually on the second Monday of each month at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library.
I felt comfortable and welcome and joined. I will be one of the minority abstract artists to exhibit with the group in the future.
I recommend you see the exhibit of those artists who can be counted among Long Island’s finest.
The IAS Open Show was judged by two separate judges, Town of Oyster Bay selected artist/teacher Bart Deceglie, and retired Merrick art teacher and master graphic artist, Charles Fillizola.