I work with soft pastels en plein air. Because my 'studio' is outdoors on location, I tend to choose perfect days when the day itself seems to tell you stop everything and come look closer at the world. A blue sky day when the air is crisp, the light is shimmering. All of us should listen to that call, because perfect days are like a string of pearls...a precious treasure.

April 1st, 2010
Orange Field #1 Tompkins County Public Library, April 8 – May 28, 2010
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 8, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
101 E. Green Street, Ithaca, NY
Curated by Tim Merrick, Landscape and Memory features works that use landscape as a vehicle to explore deeper emotion. While landscapes have been used throughout art history to depict a sense of place, many artists such as Frederic Church, Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe and Alex Katz have chosen to use landscape to express a more complex emotional state.

Merrick’s exhibit brings together a collection of work including, paintings, prints and sculpture by local and regional artists that also exhibit a more profound meaning in the landscapes that are portrayed. Featured artists are: Bill Hastings, Christa Wolf, Craig Mains, Dede Hatch, Kent Loeffler, Laurel Guy, Pamela Drix, Ralph Turturro, Suzanne Onodera, and Merrick himself.

This exhibit is made possible by grant support from the Brooks Family Foundation and the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.

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October 28th, 2009

Curated by Rebecca Godin, “Mainly Blue” is an exhibit of multiple viewpoints, mediums and explorations of the color blue.

Reception Friday, November 6, from 5 to 8 pm.

October 29 to November 27, 2009

Community School of Music and Art

330 E. State

Ithaca, NY 14850

Sunset Park This pastel, Sunset Park, is featured in the exhibit.

I became interested in the idea of working outdoors at night. The night sky, the city lights kept calling my name. It seemed a bit impossible. After all, how am I going to see in the dark? This excerpt from The Artist, a poem by Charles Simic summed it up:

Do you remember the crazy guy

Who stuck candles in his hat

So he could paint the sea at night?

Alone on that empty Jersey beach,

He kept squinting in the dark,

And waving his brush wildly.

Candles. Not such a good idea. A headlamp. A better idea. If you happen to see a glow on the side of the road some night, slow down. It might be me.

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October 8th, 2009

Cayuga Lake SummerGoodbye Summer Hello Fall

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August 9th, 2009

Mt. Pleasant RoadThese were notes I wrote as I made my most recent work. Match the title to the work in the gallery. If you are in or near Ithaca, NY in the month of August, check out the exhibit in the Upstairs Gallery. Online is convenient, however, it’s better to see the work in person!

1. Cornell Observatory I. Mt. Pleasant Road is hilly, lots of ups and downs. My eye was first drawn to the dip in the road. Seeing the observatory perched on the hill was a sweet surprise.

2. The Top of the World. Driving from Mineah Road, and turning left onto Mt. Pleasant, there is a moment when it feels like you are on top of the world. Today, there was a giant cloud bank there.

3. Distant Blue Hills I & II. On certain days, the marvelous vista from the observatory includes hazy blue hills fading into the sky.

4. Orange Field I, II & III. The hills look like thick, deep pile carpet. This view spilled onto three sheets of paper. I could have kept going…

5. Rows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air and feather castles everywhere I’ve looked at clouds that way. Joni Mitchell sums this one up for me. (The title comes from her song Both Sides Now.)

6. Cloud Shadow on Field. It’s hard to stop. You don’t want to stop. I have ruined pastels by overworking them. All of my completed ones are teetering on the edge of failure. I knew this one was finished when I put in the cloud shadow. Whew.

7. Pink Clouds. The colors are there. At first they are subtle. You have to sit still for a long time to see them. You are seeing what I saw.

8. Pink Streak in Field. Yes, those are the Ithaca College towers. Two white strokes that are instantly recognizable to Ithacan-Americans.

9. Cornell Observatory II. This exhibit begins and ends with the observatory. I first came here in 1982.  I remember being disappointed. I expected the observatory to be bigger, more majestic. Years later, it is the small size of this modest building that pleases me most. It is just right.

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August 9th, 2009

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