Inspiration, Creative Process and the Tappan Zee

“Bridging the Waters” opened last Friday for Westchester artists at the Nyack Outreach Center, and opens Friday at the Tarrytown Outreach Center. Two Rockland artists participating in the show discuss their creative processes.

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Her sketch book is full of ideas she jots down “when they come to me, or draw something that I think might turn into a more finished piece,” Heather Leigh Douglas said.

Tribute to the Tappan Zee Bridge in encaustic painting: “On the Road to Extinction”/© Heather Leigh Douglas, 2014

Tribute to the Tappan Zee Bridge in encaustic painting: “On the Road to Extinction”/© Heather Leigh Douglas, 2014

“I guess you could say it’s my ‘idea book,’ (since) it comes in very handy when I’m looking for something new to start and don’t have any concrete ideas,” Douglas said.

She called it a personal resource used more for oil painting than the encaustics. “I feel that for the most part my camera is my resource for the encaustic work, at least at the moment.”

Ideas flow from photographs she takes, currently focusing on architectural elements and people on the streets. “I also did a series of bridge encaustics, mostly local,” including the Tappan Zee, George Washington, Brooklyn, Bear Mountain and Delaware Memorial Bridge, and some others further afield,” Douglas recalled.

Because she did several encaustics of the Tappan Zee Bridge, Douglas felt it was a natural to enter the Bridge Art Show. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the new bridge finished so I can do some encaustics of it. I love the design.”

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Nature  — “observing light dancing over an object, or through a field of flowers, any landscape can become intriguing” — inspires Sue Barrasi. “I then work out an abstract composition, orchestrate a color story, and hope it comes out like visual poetry.”

Panoramic oil painting: “Her Last Days”/© Sue Barrasi,  2014

Panoramic oil painting: “Her Last Days”/© Sue Barrasi, 2014

Other times, Barrasi paints about something she read that reflects her training as an illustrator and love for problem solving. “Another time, I may love something so much I need to paint it, (like) sunflowers, my dog, or a pear!”

Her oil painting, “Faithful Lady” was sold at an exhibit at The Corner Frame Shop in Nyack; she was more delighted that the seller was a Nyack resident. “I took on the idea to paint local scenes and incorporated them into her book, Reflections of Rockland, a two-year celebration of painting local scenes of the lower Hudson Valley,” she said.

“The bridge has always been a source for inspiration through every season,” Barrasi said. When her friend Heather Douglas told her about the bridge art show, she found it “intriguing. It will be sad to see this inspirational landmark disappear but at least now it is artistically preserved.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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