Just a reminder that our Leaf Peepers Hands-On Art Tour to the Catskills and Cooperstown is coming up on Saturday, October 14, to Monday, October 16, departing from White Plains, NY. 25% of our spots are filled -- call or reply to this email now to reserve yours!
So what is this "Leaf Peeper Hands-On Art Tour" all about, you may be asking yourself? It’s all about communing with art and nature and each other to create a satisfying 360-degree aesthetic experience in just one weekend.
In addition to viewing the beautiful Fall foliage of the Catskill Mountains and Cooperstown, we will view art in the local galleries that are an expression of the exploding art scene of the Catskills; visit three artists’ studios and make a piece of art in one hour; enjoy superlative food in a sophisticated environment; and sleep in a 19th century Bed and Breakfast and Inn.
I’d like to highlight the artists whose studios we’ll visit on Day One of this tour. Our three artists are by happenstance all women. Let me tell you a little about each one:
Ros Welchman is a multi-talented artist: potter, watercolorist, knitter, gardener, singer, and cook. Oh, and did I mention she speaks Chinese? Her father, Gordon Welchman, was a colleague of Alan Turing’s at Bletchley Park and designed an enhancement to the Enigma machine. She must have inherited some mathematical ability, since she taught mathematics and education at Brooklyn College for forty years.
“Since retiring and moving to the Catskills, she returned to her early love for visual design and ceramics. Her professional interests in mathematics (especially geometry) and in teaching (especially problem-solving) have had a strong impact on her work. Welchman’s ceramics are hand-built with an emphasis on surface texture, often with patterns influenced by her travels.”* In her pottery, she likes to use both mathematical structure and more improvisational techniques.
* Simona David, in artinthecatskills.com.
We will visit her studio in a re-purposed barn in the charming village of Halcottsville, view her works for inspiration, and explore texture and form as we use hand-building techniques to create a piece of art you can use every day. If you can roll out pie crust, you can do this!
Alix Hallman Travis also resides in Halcottsville; her studio is in a century old blacksmith shop next to her home. In the summer, she is often found outside, en plein air, painting those familiar subjects that we all know but have ceased to notice because we see them every day. With her painter’s eye she is constantly looking for shapes, angles, light effects, and interesting lines that take the landscape beyond the ordinary.
She has a lilt of a Southern accent and a warm, outgoing personality. Her charming 19th century home reflects her love of color.
In her studio, we will use her discarded watercolors and tear and paste them to create original works of art, as she often does herself, such as the work illustrated above.
Gerda van Leeuwen received her Arts Education in Printmaking at Academy Artibus in Utrecht, The Netherlands. She received a work/travel grant from Arts Group, Kunstliefde to study prints by artist Piranesi in Italy. A grant from the Dutch Cultural Counsel made it possible to buy an etching press. She set up a fully equipped printing facility and collaborated with other artists in making print portfolios and art books.
She moved to New York in 1985 and set up a printing studio with husband Peter Yamaoka in Tribeca. In 2006, they moved their printing facilities to Roxbury, NY, where she now works and teaches printmaking and where Peter throws pottery. Her work is on permanent display at the Longyear Gallery, Margaretville, NY, and her prints are in private and corporate collections in the US, The Netherlands, China, and Japan.
In her studio, you will learn how to make a monoprint using plant materials gathered from her own garden, an example of which is illustrated above.
Simona David will be our docent as we travel from the Longyear Gallery in Margaretville to Halcottsville and Roxbury. Simona is passionate about art, and especially about spreading the word about the current art scene in the Catskills. She has literally written the book on art in the Catskills, How Art is Made in the Catskills, and maintains an informative blog, Art in the Catskills.
Simona also has experience as a journalist, freelancing for various media outlets, including Explore the Hudson Valley and Upstater magazines. Simona holds a Master of Arts in Communications from the State University of New York at Albany, and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania.
After taking in all this art, I’m sure we’ll have worked up an appetite, despite having refreshments with each of our artists! So we’ll head on over to the famed Peekamoose Restaurant in Big Indian where we’ll have a delectable sophisticated meal in an artistic, whimsical environment. And that’s just Day One!!!