Six artists, connected by their love of sailing and painting are showing their work at Gloucester’s Sawyer Free Library from April 4th – May 1st. “The Mill River School” features watercolors and collage by Mark Lindsay, James and Lea Watson, Keara Watson, Ann Ziergiebel, and Molly Ziergiebel Anderson. Each of the artists brings a unique background and vision to their work. All of them live on Gloucester’s Mill River and all have been painting since childhood.
ANN MECHEM ZIERGIEBEL
Ann Mechem Ziergiebel hails from a strong line of female artists spending many afternoons as a child, with her aunts, Peggy and Dorothy Norton, two of the iconic Folly Cove Designers. Ann’s earlier works demonstrated her love of sailing and the coast, as she focused on summer beach and sailboat scenes. As her style has matured, Ann’s work has tended more towards the abstract as she continues to explore what we know – and what we don’t know – about the world we see around us.
Ann’s daughter, Molly Anderson, currently living on the Back River in Wiscasset, Maine, grew up on the Mill River in Gloucester. These river settings continue to cultivate her passion for experiencing the ebb and flow of tidal waters. Her art reflects the magical spaces where ocean greets the shore. With a solid background in Structural Engineering and Geomechanics, Molly’s work has brought her to marine communities on our east and west coasts, Singapore and South Korea.
“Watercolor is an unruly medium that forces us to pay attention, to really see what we are looking at”, says Mark Lindsay. “The water flows, picking up the colors and flooding them across the paper. Our eyes pick up visual clues on the page and piece them together with our memories and suddenly the colors and forms on the paper have become a rich virtual world of our imaginings and feelings.” Mark, a boatbuilder for forty years, and Jim Watson have spent many hours learning to “pay attention” while racing sailboats together. Four years ago Mark began taking classes in Boston with Joel Janowitz. Mark says: “Hundreds of paintings later, I’ve discovered a whole new excitement in being alive.”
Lea Watson works mainly in watercolor, but recently is discovering the delights of collage. Art helps her capture “Life” whether traveling afar or staying near her home in Gloucester on the Mill River. With her husband, Jim, she shares a passion for learning, creating, and sharing. They encourage each other to have fun as they develop their talent in watercolor, collage, sculpture, pottery, photography, teaching, and creative writing.
Jim’s watercolor paints and brushes have been his constant companions during his life. He tries to capture his natural surroundings and reflect on experiences within those places. His love of sailing has steered him toward marine painting including seascapes and boats of all sorts. Since retiring from full time teaching in the Gloucester Public Schools, he is studying with local artist, Caleb Stone. He enjoys painting plein-aire around Cape Ann and other locations where his travels take him.
Jim and Lea’s daughter, Keara Watson, trained as an architect, spent time studying sculpture in Italy, and like the rest of the group, is an avid sailor. Her watercolors have a luminous abstract quality.
Also in the exhibit is ceramic work by Marty Morgan, including some porcelain quarry vessels inspired by the Cape Ann landscape.
“The Mill River School” runs from April 4 – May 1, 2015 at the Matz Gallery in the Sawyer Free Library, 2 Dale Avenue, Gloucester. The public is invited to meet the artists for a reception at the library on Saturday, April 11th from 3 – 5 pm.
I am primarily an oil painter who enjoys the challenge of working plein air. My impressions of various
landscapes often include man-made structures within a natural environment. I am intrigued by the solid forms constructed by man which exist surrounded by nature’s varied shapes, colors, and light effects.Through my representational-impressionistic style, I attempt to render as accurately as possible the colors I see with their light and shadow contrasts.My thoughtful sensitive approach integrates an emotional response and a focused meditation as the painting process evolves.
Susana Bamford was born in Boston and raised in Andover, Massachusetts. Susana became actively interested in oil painting as a child. She studied art history in college and has participated in drawing and oil painting workshops in Andover, Cambridge, Rockport, Ipswich and the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. Susana has had opportunities to study art in France, Italy and Ireland where she attended an intensive landscape workshop. Susana’s appreciation of nature’s colors and light effects inspired her to work plein air on New England landscapes. She paints in New Hampshire and in Maine, yet focuses on local scenes of the North Shore and Cape Ann.
During the past fourteen years Susana has taught art to kindergarten-aged children in an extended daycare program in Andover. She currently lives on Great Neck in Ipswich.
Gloucester, Ma artist, Erin Luman, takes on a different view of the city – Looking upwards. She paints the rooftops and edges, and holds it together with telephone poles, power lines, and tiny architectural details.
Each piece is done on a custom wood board frame. The “canvas” is then covered with glue and various vintage maps which are nearly (sometimes completely) covered in acrylic paint. The architecture is traced in pencil and then pen. A wash of color comes last to finish the work.
There is nothing more satisfying to me than seeing something old in a new light. Neighborhoods and buildings I’ve walked past a million times become new when pencil hits paper. To slow everything down and find the balance between places that might be considered ugly, to find the beauty in them is what keeps me inside this series.
January’s Matz Gallery exhibition, “Winter Expressions”, features the work of husband and wife artist team, Matt Cegelis and Ruth Schneider. Matt works primarily in photography and digital art; Ruth combines her photography with painting or texture. Both enjoy the serendipitous process of merging multiple images, “discovering and creating one-of-a-kind abstractions”. Both artists are based in Rockport. Their work will be on display in the Matz Gallery through January 31, 2015.
My interest in photography began during college in the 70’s, when I was majoring in art and design. I was given a 35mm film camera as a gift, and began my exploration of the media. I had a darkroom for 15 years, and did freelance work for various magazines and publications. I worked mostly in black and white, utilizing the “Zone System”, which was formulated by Ansel Adams. Portraiture and landscapes were my main focus. While raising our two children, I barely used the camera except to document our family life and travels. With the advent of digital cameras, I took it up again, but again, mostly for travel and documentation. It wasn’t until two years ago, that I discovered the ability to “play around”with my images, using free software on my computer. I have since been merging my photographs with old, unfinished paintings of mine and our daughter’s. I go through my photo files and choose which images would work with either a painting or texture (which I photographed separately) or another photograph. It has been a real learning experience, and great fun to see the surprising results!
I am a self taught photographer and digital artist, working in the abstract space. My recent exhibitions on Cape Ann include:
“A Fine Line”, juried by Al Miner, presented at the Cultural Ceneter at Rocky Neck
“Serendipity”, a juried exhibition presented at the Rocky Neck Gallery
“Pixel Revolution”, an invitational exhibition presented by the Rocky Neck Art Colony at the Cultural Center
“Here and Now”, a juried eRocky Neck Art Colony show
“Art in the Barn”, a juried annual art sale event for the benefit of Essex County Greenbelt