The new Elisa Contemporary Art exhibit, She Looks At... The Water, opens on May 3rd at the Elisa Contemporary Art Gallery in Riverdale NY. The exhibit will run through July 26, 2023.
She Looks At...The Water features two distinct subject matters: female figurative artwork and waterscape paintings. The female figurative artwork includes dimensional birch wood pop art, limited edition silkscreens, pastels on archival board, works on paper and paintings.
The featured artists are Carol Bennett, Mitch McGee, Norm Siegel and Jeffrey Palladini. The waterscapes are oil paintings and mixed media by Betty Ball, Marie Danielle Leblanc and Dale Najarian. The female figure works includes pool and ocean artworks by West Coast artists, Carol Bennett and Jeffrey Palladini. The Swimmer paintings by Bennett are a new series of pastel on archival board – the first time the artist has used pastels in over 30+ years. They capture the movement and reflections of female swimmers within the water. The Pool side artworks by Palladini include a brand new series of oil and charcoal on paper.
The gallery has included “Mona Rolla” by Connecticut Artist, Norm Siegel. This reimagined Mona Lisa painting, which was awarded the first prize in a Juried Show at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists in 2022, captures the essence of this iconic artwork in a humorous and delightful way.
The exhibit also includes the birch wood pop art cut and layered by Texas Artist, Mitch McGee. The waterscapes include a painting by Connecticut Artist, Betty Ball which is part of her Land & sea series. The series brings the viewer to scenes filled with homes along the water’s edge, and light and reflections. They create a sense of peace and joy as the viewer gets drawn into them.
The gallery has also included an abstract work from the latest mixed media and encaustic series by Canadian artist, Marie Danielle Leblanc. The water scenes are completed with a warm toned painting of water and sea grass by Connecticut artist, Dale Najarian.
Betty Ball received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has been working as a designer and fine artist ever since. She brings her design influences to work in fine art compositions capturing light and color in the world around her. Light is a key element of her work, and she creates art that is “observational, beautiful, sensuous and open to interpretation.” According to Ball, “Light defines what we see. Light’s purity and transcendent qualities are at the heart of my work.” Her artwork has been exhibited and collected throughout the US and Internationally in Hong Kong, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Denmark.
Carol Bennett is one of the few artists who really captures what it's like to be in and move through the water. She is a native of Los Angeles, who has spent the last 20 years living in Hawaii in Kaua'i. She spends all of her time surrounded by water, and a great deal within it. The gallery has been representing her work since 2008. Her work is a meditative journey through both the water and through life. She is intrigued by how life continues to flow and change, being both in the moment and timeless. The viewer will experience being in a state “flow” – where the currents of the ocean suspend life and self, and the unexpected floats to the surface. Carol’s fascination with the swimmer imagery began when she was living in Los Angeles and swimming at the LA Athletic Club. According to Carol, “The floor beneath the pool, with its ethereal skylight, was an underwater observation room...used by Olympic coaches in the 1920's. I would feel like a voyeur, watching the swimmer's private time and drawing in their beauty. I became the swimmer I observed in the images I later created.” Carol's work has been featured in many solo and group exhibits throughout the East and West Coasts and Hawaii including a 2007 solo show at the First Hawaiian Center at the Contemporary Museum of Art (Honolulu) and a 2018 group show "Making Waves" exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Her work was seen alongside April Gornik, Agnes Martin, Kiki Smith, and Pat Steir (to name a few). She also just completed a 40 piece glass panel commission at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu. She has been featured in Architectural Digest, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, CT Cottages & Gardens Design Guide, Ocean Home Magazine and the New York Times. Carol artwork has also been featured in Designer Showhouses in Westchester NY and the Hamptons, and is part of public and private collections.
Marie Danielle Leblanc was born in Trois-Rivières (Quebec) and has lived and worked in Montreal (Quebec) since 1990. Her paintings transform landscapes into poetic worlds. Her deeply saturated palettes bring new life to the sea, land and sky. And she transports her viewers to timeless and imaginary landscapes. During her travels, she likes to write down her thoughts, make a note of the weather or the name of a place, take pictures and collect images. Leblanc’s travel diary is an ideal instrument for her She has participated in twenty solo exhibitions, and more than fifty group exhibitions. Her work has also been shown throughout Canada and in Paris, Sydney, Mexico and Tokyo.
Mitch McGees influences came from the style of Pop Art legend, Roy Lichtenstein. According to McGee, "Lichtenstein with a Red Bow was the first piece that started me down this rabbit hole. In an almost tongue-in-cheek fashion I wondered how I could take one of his pieces and recreate it in another medium." From that start, McGee began to create his own style and establish his unique voice. Today, his creativity exists in that space between painting and sculpture. In his Birch series, McGee uses pieces of wood, each illustrated, hand cut and stained or painted to create dimensional pieces. Each painting is filled with thick layers and subtle shadows. There is a warmth created by the imperfection of the birch and its grain that creates an emotional connection. Each painting is a labor of love, taking 40 to 50 hours or more to complete. His work is public and private collections throughout the world including TV journalist Serena Altschul, Game of Thrones Actress Carice van Houton, and the Feld Family (Ringling Bros). His work was also recently featured on the cover of Connecticut Home & Design Guide and in Architectural Digest, Germany and House Beautiful.
Jeffrey Palladini was born in the Chicago area, and grew up in Southern California. He studied Art at California State University, Long Beach, where he explored a wide variety of media, eventually gravitating toward drawing and painting. It wasn't until his studies in Florence, Italy in 1989 that he began to form a consistent creative voice. The ubiquitous beauty of art in everyday life in Italy had a profound effect on the young artist, and he began to experiment with combining the found objects and classical figurative imagery he found everywhere around him. From that time, Palladini has considered canvas simply too passive, and has continued to employ wood almost exclusively as the ground for his paintings. In 1991, Palladini relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives and works along with his wife and daughter. He continues to develop his unique vocabulary of dramatic imagery. Palladini has exhibited his work around the U.S. and the world for over twenty-five years. His work is included in numerous private and corporate collections. Palladini was honored with an SFMOMA SECA Award nomination, and was named one of San Francisco's Top 20 Artists.
Norm Siegel, a raduate of The Cooper Union in NY, went into advertising design, graphics, and marketing while a free-lance illustrator. As his advertising responsibilities grew, (Crest Toothpaste, Continental Airlines, Volvo), illustrating became a serious R&R outlet. He has always maintained a love for all things aviation and space. As a member of the Air Force Art Program headquartered in the Pentagon, many of his paintings are there and part of several air and space museums across the country.