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.