The Sylvan Gallery is pleased to offer a special exhibition featuring the oil paintings of Neal Hughes and Crista Pisano, two renowned artists represented by the gallery whose camaraderie has grown after participating in numerous outdoor competitions. shared along the east coast. The exhibition opens Thursday, July 29, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., coinciding with the evening of the Wiscasset Art Walk. The exhibition continues until August 22.
In addition to being jurors in many of the country’s most prestigious outdoor art competitions, Hughes and Pisano share a deep admiration for each other’s work and a life of dedication to the art of painting. Each has their own unique style and ability to capture the light and moods of nature for which they have won many accolades during their career as a painter, and each has a different perspective in choosing the subject of their painting. Hughes’ preference is to compose a painting where the main subject is near the viewer or in the middle of the distance, and Pisano likes to focus on the far or long view of a scene and reduce it to a much smaller canvas size. . .
Neal Hughes is a former illustrator and has painted professionally for over 30 years. He is at home painting a wide variety of subjects: historic New England architecture and gardens, windjammers, shipyards, prairies, woodland streams and even the dry climate of the Texan landscape. His numerous awards bear witness to his love and ability to connect with the environment and translate it into a canvas. He has a particular affinity for water and many of his paintings focus on coastal subjects.
The subject of his most awarded painting in the exhibition was discovered while in Gloucester, MA, searching for subjects to paint as the sun set. When he stumbled upon a classic wooden boat on the work dock, he quickly realized he would be doing a great night painting. âDreamboat Nocturneâ is a fine example of his ability to combine his remarkable drawing skills with a pictorial approach to achieve an almost dreamlike impression of painting. The boat is illuminated by an invisible light source and the surrounding docks and
the buildings have an almost interior glow contrasting with the darkness of the water and the sky. The painting won the “Best Associate Award of Excellence” at the National Exhibition of Oil Painters of America (OPA) and a “First Place” and “Artist’s Choice Awards” at the Cape Ann Plein Air Festival; award judge, Don Demers.
Another painting by Hughes in the exhibition, âEvening at the Farmâ, depicts the beautiful harmonies of colors and the light of an autumn day. Hughes is adept at mixing the warmth of the late October sun as he peeks through the white clapboards of the old rural farmhouse, with the silvery blue and purple tones of shadows cast by an old maple tree. The layers of paint are very textured, combining both brush and knife work. Rich impressionistic gold strokes suggest evergreen autumn leaves. Mottled sunlight shines through the green and red tones of the courtyard. There is a nice balance between light and dark and a sense of poetry in this painting as Hughes captures the intrinsic quality of the scene.
Additional paintings by Neal Hughes include a view of Kuerner’s iconic farmhouse in Chadds Ford, Pa. Made famous by Andrew Wyeth, the subject of Port Clyde and Monhegan Island, and seasonal views of woodland streams.
Neal Hughes’ most recent awards include the “Best Urban Landscape Award” at the Lighthouse Art Center Plein Air Festival, Tequesta, Florida, 2021; âAward of Meritâ at the International Spring Online 2021 exhibition of the National Oil and Acrylic Society (NOAPS); âBest of Showâ in the Richeson75 Landscape, Seascape & Architecture 2020 competition; “Cezanne, Best Use of Light Award” from Olmsted reImagined, Plein Air Invitational 2020; â2020 Artwork Archive Award of Excellenceâ at the National Jury Exhibition of the American Impressionist Society (AIS); and the âGold Medalâ at the 2019 Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Show. Neal Hughes is an elected âFellowâ of the American Society of Marine Artists and is also a member of Oil Painters of America.
Crista Pisano’s education in oil painting began at the age of 14 when she began studying with John Phillip Osbourne at the Ridgewood Art Institute in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She continued her studies in painting at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, where she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2000, and in 2003, received a Masters of Fine Arts Painting from the New York Academy Graduate School of Figurative. Art.
Pisano learned early on how essential it was to study outdoors in order to fully understand how to interpret nature. The experience and first-hand understanding of atmospheric changes were crucial to his development as a landscape painter. Pisano prefers to work on a small scale and has become widely known for his almost miniature outdoor paintings.
competitions, this year winning the âPetite Plein Air, Artists Choice Awardâ at the Olmstead Plein Air Invitational in Atlanta, Georgia.
She generally prefers to focus on distant views, and many gallery visitors have found that there is as much going on in her small painting as what is usually seen in a larger work. Pisano generally strikes a sensitive and peaceful chord in his paintings. She is extremely observant and will capture a strange turn towards a tree branch or carefully render the specific outline of a rock outcrop silhouetted against the water.
In “May Marsh”, measuring 5 “xx 7”, the trees studied individually are proportional to the distant horizon. The gently patterned clouds reflect the orange glow of the sun and create a beautiful pattern in the cyan sky. The marsh grasses neutralized the tones of these same colors creating a beautiful harmony to the whole picture. “Grass Patterns” at 3 1/4 “x 5 1/4”, is another painting where distance is informed by the scale of gently manipulated trees. Dark red dots and dashes on the horizon contrast beautifully with the green pastures. There is a very subtle transition of light and color moving across the sky and the earth. It’s a beautifully composed painting with fine detail that doesn’t take away from the essence of the scene but adds even more interest.
“Winter Midnight Magic” by Pisano, at 6 “x 4”, is a vertical painting with beautiful earth colors. The subject is a close-up view of pine trees. Subtle textures are created not by mixing but weaving brushstrokes in and out of the trees so that the wintry atmosphere mingles with the pine branches. The subtle scraping and palette knife work add extra texture. The paint overlay has an almost stained glass effect. It is a work that one will want to observe closely as new shades of colors and brushes are revealed. His other paintings in the exhibit include Nocturnes with a View of the River, three paintings from an outdoor event in Castine, Maine, and a 2 1/2 “x 7 1/2” painting titled “Dog Beach “which won an” Honorable Mention “at the Long Beach Island Foundation’s 5th Annual Plein Air 2020 Exhibition. Pisano was honored in 2021 with two prizes in the Paint Annapolis competition: 3rd place for Paint the Bay and 2nd place in the Nocturne competition. At the Tuxedo Art and Music Plein Air, Tuxedo, NY, 2021, she was honored with âBest in Showâ.
Hughes and Pisano were both jurors in Plein Air Easton 2021, July 11-18, arguably the largest and most prestigious outdoor painting competition in the United States. Then they will come to Maine during the week leading up to the Wiscasset Art Walk on Thursday, July 29. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., visitors will find the artists in the gallery or painting nearby and there may be new work right next door. the easel. A selection of works by other contemporary artists in the gallery will also be presented.
For more information, call Ann Scanlan at 882-8290 or visit www.sylvangallery.com. Also find Sylvan Gallery on Instagram and Facebook. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 49 Water St., Wiscasset, corner of Main Street (Route 1) and Water Street, adjacent to Red’s Eats.