For the second year in a row, Sylvan Gallery is pleased to offer an exhibition of the extraordinary oil paintings of Neal Hughes and Crista Pisano, two renowned landscape artists recognized for their skill at capturing the essence of their subject.
The exhibit opens on Monday, Aug. 1. The reception to meet the artists is on Thursday, Aug. 25 from 5 – 8 p.m., coinciding with the evening of the Wiscasset Art Walk. The exhibition continues through Sunday, Sept. 4. In conjunction, the gallery will also be displaying work from its regular roster of contemporary fine artists.
Hughes’ and Pisano’s ability to interpret nature and manifest what moves them about a scene have earned them many accolades over their painting careers, and both have been juried into many of the most prestigious plein air art competitions in the country. The most notable difference about their work is that Hughes’ paintings may range from 8 x 10 to 30 x 30 inches or larger, and Pisano is much more likely to work on almost miniature-in-size panels, some as small as 4 x 4 inches with longer panoramic views reaching to 2.5 x 12 inches for example.
Coastal subjects and sailing craft inspire much of Hughes’ work in the exhibition, although he is at home painting a wide variety of subject matter including historic New England architecture, fields, and woodland streams.
Hughes is a former illustrator and has been painting professionally for more than 30 years. The winner of numerous awards, Hughes is an elected fellow of the American Society of Marine Artists and a member of Oil Painters of America.
Where some artists use small paintings to create quick impressions of a scene and to possibly refer back to them to plan larger compositions in the studio, Pisano’s small paintings are final works of art and visually have the impact and convey as much information as one might find in a larger painting. Maine coastal views provide the inspiration for many of her paintings in the exhibition.
“I am naturally drawn to subject matter as far as the eye can see, and I particularly enjoy observing and painting the calm of where the sky meets the water vs. the chaos of the rocky Maine coast,” she said.
While in Maine, Pisano always spends a lot of time at Pemaquid Point and finds the quintessential Maine seascape and rock patterns mesmerizing. “Pemaquid Patterns,” at 5.25 x 3.25 inches, is a vertical painting where the rocks predominate, but Pisano’s handling of the sky with the swiftly moving clouds is attention grabbing and the viewer can imagine standing there with her, being whipped by the wind.
Pisano’s education in oil painting started at the age of 14 when she began studying with John Phillip Osbourne at the Ridgewood Art Institute in Ridgewood, N.J. She studied painting at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2000, and in 2003, received a Master of Fine Arts Painting from the New York Academy Graduate School of Figurative Art.
A selection of work by the gallery’s other contemporary fine artists will also be on display, including Peter Layne Arguimbau, Joann Ballinger, Al Barker, Paul Batch, Angelo Franco Jr., Susannah Haney, Heather Gibson-Lusk, Stan Moeller, Robert Noreika, Ann Scanlan, Polly Seip, Laura Winslow, and Shirley Cean Youngs. Work from the estate of the late artist Charles Kolnik will also be on view.
For more information, call Ann Scanlan at 882-8290 or go to sylvangallery.com. Also, find Sylvan Gallery on Instagram and Facebook. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 49 Water St., Wiscasset, on the corner of Main and Water streets, next to Red’s Eats.