Eleanor’s studio will be open to the public on Sunday, May 1 from 11 AM to 5 PM.
I have loved painting with watercolor since taking continuing education classes at NYC art schools starting in the mid nineties. I was lucky to live near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and had my first plein air experiences there.
My wife and I moved to Hunterdon County in 2006. I made my first local paintings at The Prallsville Mill. I joined the Hunterdon Watercolor Society, The Musconetcong Watercolor Group and have taken many classes at the the Center for Contemporary Art.
I have been influenced by Gail Bracegirdle and Doris Ettlinger in traditional techniques. Wes Sherman and Terri Fraser have directed me towards appreciation of all things contemporary.
I usually start by taking a walk with paper, pencil, materials in a backpack, a folding chair and table. I appreciate being outdoors but I love having a reason to be exploring; just breathing, observing, listening. I try to be open to the feeling to stop walking. It is something intuitive that tells me to paint whatever is in front of me at that moment. I hope it is a place that has meaning, even if I do not know what that will be.
The challenge is satisfying when I find movement in a layout, values and colors with a warm, limited pallet. I try not overthinking about all the design elements I have studied. The enjoyment of looking, being in a flow, is the main reason to be there. My work shows pathways and flowing elements, soft, heart throbbing rhythms.
The changing light will push me to work with fast brush strokes so, happily, tight rendering is not an option.
Sometimes I take my walks with only paper and pencil. I’ll get back to the car with just a loose sketch with shading and notes about color. I’ll set up at the open trunk of the car to paint or go home to the studio and work from memory. This makes a very different painting; a hybrid between there and here.
The painting may end up in the pile of not great work or get framed and put up on the wall. All of them, worth being shown or not, are memories of how I spent that day and what was accomplished. They are a timeline story of where I have been.
In my studio I also love making collages, and will work with originals and/or copies of my paintings, as well as other materials. I usually have elements of paintings that interest me so I start with those. Then I try moving images around like puzzle pieces (without an image on the box to refer to) and take lots of breaks and see where the combining process takes me when I get back to the table with a new idea.