Friday, January 30, 2015

At the Whalebone

The Whalebone General Store in Noyac, Sag Harbor is the hub of the neighborhood. It is where to go for the morning newspapers, lottery tickets, birthday cards, toys, and gifts, many locally produced. The huge candy counter is a destination point for sugar deprived children on the way home from a day at the beach. The store's selections change to satisfy seasonal desires. The Whalebone is also the place to get all of the latest neighborhood news. I say news, not gossip (wink). Just recently, Linda and George Heine have expanded the locally sourced artisanal products to include fine art by local artists.
You may be familiar with some of the artists.
La, la la!
Dering Harbor by Gail Gallagher
Wooley Pond by Hugh Gallagher
It's an honor to be in the company of some wonderful local artisans.
Handmade signs by Kris Nielsen
Photographs by Ralph Pugliese Jr.
A beautiful wall of various sized paintings by Scott Hewitt
Scott Hewitt's website here
Pottery made in Sag Harbor by Nancy Robbins
Artisanal Soaps from Southampton Soap Company
I can dream about weather for wearing a hat like this.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Jane Wilson (1924 - 2015)

Jane Wilson, painter of evocative ethereal landscapes, passed away January 13th 2015. Elegant artist and inspiration, she will be missed.
Jane Wilson with one of her paintings
photograph by Gordon Parks
Life Magazine May 13, 1957 Women Artists in Ascendance  via
Born on an Iowa farm, Jane Wilson met and fell in love with John Jonas Gruen at the University of Iowa while they were both students there. They married and moved to Greenwich Village in 1949. The couple became a part of New York City's vibrant art scene, Jane with her paintings and John with his writing and photography. John lovingly captures Jane's image in so many photographs over the years. 
Trees at Mecox by Jane Wilson 1958
Oil on Linen, 17 1/8" x 12"
Parrish Art Museum via
"One day in the '50s I just woke up one morning thinking about painting and everybody is painting wildly abstractly and being very serious and macho, and I thought, 'Oh, I really like subject matter,'"
Jane Wilson Wall Street Journal Interview here
Jane Wilson in front of her painting, The Open Scene, 1960
Collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Photograph by John Jonas Gruen, May 1960.
image via
The Open Scene by Jane Wilson 1960
Oil on Canvas 60 3/8" x 6' 8"
Museum of Modern Art via
The couple put a down payment on their Water Mill carriage house in 1960 after Ms. Wilson sold a work to the Museum of Modern Art. "My mother thought it was the craziest idea my father had had up to that point, but of course she loves it." interview with Julia Gruen here
Jane Wilson in Still Life
photograph by John Jonas Gruen 1957 via
Onions by Jane Wilson 1970
oil on canvas 21 " x 21"
Parrish Art Museum via
Jane Wilson at the Hansa Gallery New York 1957
Photograph by Douglas Rodewald via
Andy and Lilacs by Jane Wilson 1960
Oil on Linen, 30" x 42"
Whitney Museum of American Art via
Gift of Andy Warhol
Jane Wilson, Water Mill New York 1961
Photograph by John Jonas Gruen
image via
The Wave 1988 by Jane Wilson 1988
Oil on Linen 77" x 100"
Parrish Art Museum via 
John Jonas Gruen and Jane Wilson
Harpers Bazaar July 1966
image via
Near Night, Tompkins Square 1964 by Jane Wilson 1964
Oil on Canvas, 40" x 35"
image via
Willem de Kooning, Jane Wilson and daughter Julia Gruen 
photograph John Jonas Gruen 1962 via
Sun After Rain by Jane Wilson 1990
Oil on Canvas, 60" x 70"
image via
"What I'm aiming for are moments of strong sensation, moments of total physical experience of the landscape, when weather just reaches out and sucks you in. And the challenge of trying to trigger those moments with pigments of ground-up earth. When you think about it, it's really very mysterious." - Jane Wilson, 1991 via
Jane Wilson, Water Mill New York 1962
Photograph by John Jonas Gruen
image via
Rain, Heavy at Times, by Jane Wilson 2004
Oil on Canvas 60" x 70"
image via
Jane Wilson in her Water Mill studio, June 4, 2000
Photograph by John Jonas Gruen
image via
Another Midnight by Jane Wilson 2009
Oil on Canvas 11" x 14" 
image DC Moore Gallery via
Jane Wilson and John Jonas Gruen
Water Mill Studio c 2002
Photo by Jonathan Becker
Frozen Fields by Jane Wilson 2004
Oil on Linen 30" x 36"
DC Moore Gallery image via
Ms.Wilson starts each new work with a horizontal line near the bottom of the canvas. Not necessary a bold line, but something she can use to orient herself. "I know I want a lot of sky," she said. "My subject is really atmosphere and the quality of air as we live it. That's what I think about: the vitality in surrounding spaces." WSJ 2010 via
Flying Clouds by Jane Wilson
image via Hampton's Art Hub
Donated by the artist to the East End Artist Supporting Artists fundraiser 2011
with Julia on the beach in Water Mill
image via
Ms. Gruen wrote of her mother that “Water Mill is my mother. She found lifelong inspiration in the land, sea, and sky of this place, and I felt nurtured by it, as much as by her. But could a child grasp the significance of my parents’ circle of friends? 
De Kooning, Rauschenberg, Johns, Fairfield Porter, Larry Rivers, Marisol, Jane Freilicher, Lukas Foss, Virgil Thomson, Leonard Bernstein, Jerry Leiber, Stella Adler, Arthur Gold and Bobby Fizdale, Frank O’Hara, Edward Albee, John Ashbery, James Schuyler, to name only a few? No.”
“My father’s photographs recorded very specific moments and occasions, but for five decades, my mother’s paintings have provided the atmospheric evocation of and window onto my childhood. Over the past decade, I’ve been obsessively photographing the skies in Water Mill . . . but whenever I look up, I always see a Jane Wilson sky.” quote via
Jane Wilson is survived by her husband John Jonas Gruen and daughter Julia Gruen. I wish you both my sincerest sympathy.
Artist Jane Wilson, 90, Lives on in East End Nature - 27 East here
Jane Wilson, Noted Landscape Painter - East Hampton Star here
Jane Wilson - Paris Review here
Jane Wilson, Artist of the Etherial, Dies at 90 - NY Times here
Jane Wilson at 90 East Village/East End - DC Moore Gallery here
Scumbling in a Studio of Her Own - Wall Street Journal 11/27/10 here
Jane Wilson by Mimi Thompson - Interview with BOMB Magazine 1991 here
Jane Wilson's Palette
image via
A painting can take four or five sittings to finish, or four or five years. "You get stuck," she said. "You don't know what the hell is going on.  You get mad at the painting so you turn its face to the wall. And then one day you turn it around and you think, "Oh, I know what's wrong. And why couldn't I see it before?" But I couldn't see it before. So I proceed from there. And I think most people work like that. I'm working on many, many paintings at the same time. The more the better. " WSJ interview 2010 via

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sage Street Antiques

I could see a large green bottle in the window of Sage Street Antiques. 
I was reminded of an N.C. Wyeth still life of a dusty green bottle.
The Dusty Bottle by N.C. Wyeth (1882 - 1945)
1924 oil on canvas  37 1/4 x 39 7/8
image via Brandywine Museum
N.C. Wyeth's Sudio at Brandywine 
image via
We visited the Brandywine Museum many years ago. The painting of a dusty bottle has stuck in my mind since. Its simple composition and the way that Wyeth captures light on glass is incredible. Wyeth's studio is also part of the museum. When I saw the ordinary green bottle and how Wyeth had painted it to look so extraordinary it confirmed to me the power of art to enhance the commonplace. 
When I saw the green bottle in the window at Sage Antiques I had to go in and take a closer look. The bottle was just one of many objects that would contribute to a marvelous still life composition.
A mother and her two young children were entering the shop as I was.  I am guessing the boy was around 8 years old, the girl was younger. As the group entered the store I heard the boy say, "Can we get something?" to which the mother answered, "Yes." I had to wonder what would interest a boy of this age in a store filled with mostly antique glass. I became engrossed with various objects and my own shopping, only noticing the little family when the mother cautioned her children to take care as they walked around various displays. Not much later, voices at the cashier desk attracted my attention. The boy was discussing his find, a particular marble, with the proprietor. 
photo via
After listening to the enthusiastic discussion between boy and elder proprietor,  I was dying to see what the little girl had chosen, but they had exited the store before I could spy further. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Winter Blues

There is something about the stark beauty of Peconic Bay in winter. 
Ice defines edges.
Crusts of snow blur.
Nature's dichotomy.
It can be purifying or punishing.
Scallop shells tossed by the frozen waves mix with snow.
The bayshore draped in its winter jewels.
The clouds, sea and ice are layers of blue tones.
Beautiful and still.
Indoors, I admire my beach finds.
Bowl by Megna Glass

Winter is a great time for doing indoor things, such as visiting art galleries that I missed during those summer beach days. Monika Olko Gallery in Sag Harbor carries art by Shelter Island artist Kia Pedersen. A few of her sea inspired paintings are below.  Beautiful blues!
Blue Azure by Kia Pedersen
36 x 72 inches. image via Hamptons Art Hub 
Splash by Kia Pedersen
oil on canvas 35" x 72" image via
Kia Pedersen
photo by Bev Walz via Northforker

Kia Pedersen is a painter, sculptor, print maker and architect.
I look forward to learning more about Pedersen and her work.

Kia Pedersen website
Shelter Island's Newest Art Studio - Northforker
Hand On with Kia Pedersen - The Insider WWD
Kia Pedersen Answers "Call of the Sea" - Hamptons Art Hub