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
Jung’s work often represents his considerable interest in architecture. Ever since studying it briefly in college, he has looked at architecture in detail and incorporated it into his artwork. His observations have allowed him to capture light and space and dimension in his paintings and drawings. It was at the age of nine that he truly understood the power of great architecture as he and his family stood before the demolition of the old, but grand Pennsylvania Station in New York City. He was taken with the detailing of this impressive masterpiece by McKim, Mead and White. and saddened by its demolition.
Paul’s current interest is in the Pop Art Movement of the 1960’s .His current works are influenced by Roy Lichenstein’s, graphic comic book style to the fragmented pop imagery of artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and Robert Indiana.
The bold and striking images which came from the Pop Art Movement are one’s that he hopes his works will find resonance with viewers today.
Paul Jung was born in Newark, New Jersey, raised in both New Jersey and in New York City and graduated from Salem State University in 2004. After living and working in Boston for many years, he moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts in the mid-1980’s where he currently resides and maintains a studio, the Paul Jung Design Group. For the past 27 years, he has been employed by the Gorton’s Corporation as a Graphic Artist.
Jung is the recipient of an Outstanding Artist Award from Salem State University. In addition to his participation in many Invitational and Group shows throughout the region, his work has been shown at the Winifsky Gallery and the New and Emerging Artists Series sponsored by the city of Salem, Massachusetts.
Traveling to You: A Collaboration of Poetry and Printmaking
Featuring poems by Gloucester Poet Laureate Rufus Collinson and Linoleum, Lithograph, and Monotype Prints by Gloucester Printmaker, Coco Berkman
Four years ago when I approached our then new Poet Laureate, Rufus Collinson, to ask her if she would be open to the idea of having a collaborative show of our work; her poems-my imagery, I had read only a few of her poems. She readily agreed, giving me license to choose whichever poems from her collection that I felt moved to use. I carried her poetry books [Turning the Stones ; Traveling to You  ] with me over the past four years.
Hugged up against my own sketchbooks in my bag, they traveled with me to New York City, where I studied stone lithography at the Art Students League, and where I transformed my drawing “Grocery Shopping”, inspired by her poem, “Friday Nights at the A&P” into a lithograph; to Martha’s Vineyard in the dead of winter, where I drew the composition, “Deer and Wolf”, inspired in large part by Rufus’s poem, “Adagio”; on the State Fish Pier on Parker Street, where I sat in my car and drew; on walks through Stage Fort Park, drives to Connecticut and Maine. I’ve lived with her poems.
My favorites kept changing. Poems that at first held little interest would suddenly capture my attention. They would sink in, take me away … into the natural world, into another
person’s emotional world, into another Gloucester. Most importantly, into a Poet’s mind. A mind whose priority is to search for the extraordinary layers in things, put those insights into words in an honest and eloquent way and then share them with the world. Thank you Rufus, for relentlessly doing the Poet’s work and then sending it out here. It
has touched me deeply forever.
My work is organic, bold, gritty, sensual, and inspired by my mad scientist tendencies. These works are thoughts and, in essence two dimensional sculptures. They are curvy, and you’ll probably have a hard time finding a straight line. I’ve found a secret formula to create these works: get up around 5 a.m., drink coffee, turn on the music, and then I jump and dance around the room as I paint, this gets the art thoughts moving. I paint ferociously; this creates real energy within the piece. My painting style and its looseness makes watercolor an optimal medium for me. I paint very wet, this allows the colors to mix themselves on the paper, and allows little experiments/accidents to create themselves within the piece. Painting is my bizarre form of meditation.
I have a fondness for Asian calligraphy sumi-e brushes, allowing me to create elegant lines. With my constant interest in keeping things fresh, I sometimes paint with more non-traditional brushes like palmetto fronds, brushes made of grass, turkey basters, sticks, and lastly a collection of brushes I made from friends who volunteered some of their own hair for my artistic endeavors. With these homemade brushes I’ve been able to create some truly organic and fresh movements on the paper.
I’ve explored many different mediums over the past decade before hunkering down with watercolor. I’ve been a semi-abstract potter, fanatical wooden archery bow maker, played around with house paints Pollock style and done a lot of photography. I have a relatively non-conventional background for an abstract artist. I have a Masters in Conservation Biology, with my thesis studying the feeding habits of American mink (think mink coat). I’ve been a woody plant researcher, arborist, land manager, and currently I’m a full time fish biologist studying rainbow smelt (think small yummy fish). If I’m not in the studio, I’m outside learning about nature. Being a biologist has allowed me to bring unique perspectives to my art practice. Nature is truly abstract and offers infinite sources of inspiration for me as an artist. I had a lot of fun creating these pieces. Enjoy!
Jan Walker is now an artist and photographer, after a career in the early computer industry. She has a Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Raised in Ottawa Canada, she has lived in Champaign IL, Berkeley, Arlington MA, France, and Cambridge, and currently resides in Rockport, MA.
Largely self-taught in the arts, she has worked in many mediums, including pottery, watercolor painting, photography, and acrylic monotypes and collage. Formerly a member of Local Colors and the Rocky Neck Art Gallery, she is an artist member of Cambridge Art Association and Newburyport Art Association, and a member of the photography division of the Rockport Art Association. Her work is in private collections on several continents. She counts Connie Arvanites as a mentor, Modigliani as an inspiration, and studied locally with Martin Ahearn and Betty Lou Schlemm. Her most recent work has combined photographic images with acrylic monotypes.
I am a curious observer of almost everything and I see art everywhere. It makes me happy to discover wonderful compositions in the details of ordinary surroundings. I respond most strongly to form, line, pattern, and humor in the abstract designs all around me. My work shows details and unexpected views in scenes that might otherwise seem commonplace. I want people to feel the excitement I felt while taking the picture or making the piece. My favorite compositions contain curves or triangles. My favorite subjects are natural ones, especially those involving texture, birds, or water.
Born in Gloucester, MA, Kathleen Miller is a self-taught artist who currently resides in Rockport. Growing up on Cape Ann, she was greatly influenced by the artists of Rocky Neck and Bearskin Neck. Since childhood, she has had in interest in drawing, painting, and other forms of art, and has developed these interests over the years. Although primarily self-taught, she has recently studied with several local painters. She enjoys painting on location as well as in the studio. Working primarily in oils, Kathleen paints a variety of subjects, focusing mainly on landscapes, seascapes and other scenes inspired by nature. Kathleen has a way of infusing herself into her scenes, and each of her paintings reflects her personal impression of the world around her.
In addition to being an artist, Kathleen is also a Mental Health Therapist. She utilizes many art and expressive therapy techniques in her practice, and she believes strongly in the healing properties of artistic expression both for the artist and the viewer. While drawing inspiration from the natural world, it is her intention to impart a sense of peace, hope and healing potential through all of her creative works.
Please visit The Art Nook, 58 Bearskin Neck Rockport, MA to see more work by Kathleen and other local artists. Visit Kathleen Miller on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theartnook.