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Always Traced with Ephemerality

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

We ART YARD Advanced Studio Artists were delighted to have Teaching Artist Quentin Williamston return with a lesson inspired by the beautiful watercolors of Sunga Park.

“ I always focus on showing my feelings through the common features“- Sunga Park

Sunga Park, Paris, 2020, warercolor,

Quentin summarizes: “This week I introduced Sunga Park and her latest show entitled, Paris in January 2020 which provoked a fruitful discussion remembering the places traveled and special moments shared. It also led us to think about the places We’ve been in our lives and what these moments meant to us. We split into breakout rooms and discussed ideas before executing, reflecting on sentimental moments.

We discussed some of the paintings in the exhibition, in particular the technique. Following discussion, we watched a video revealing the steps to completing this type of painting. We followed the procedure for creating our own versions of these pieces using that place of reflection. Students were given a choice(challenge) to create a piece containing a reflection. The two pieces were to be done with different mediums.

After independent work time, everyone returned together for critique. At critique we displayed our work, compared/contrasted and gave compliments. Everyone produced work that captured the lesson in beautifully different ways. Each student captured the technique in ways that highlighted their special places.”

Zeke pulled from his memory of his Brooklyn days with a beautiful portrait of the Brooklyn Museum where he spent many hours enjoying exhibitions!

Zeke Brokow, Brooklyn Museum

Kevin’s strong minimal piece totally captures The Boat House in Prospect Park a location Kevin longs to visit again with friends when we are not restricted by pandemic safety protocols.

Kevin Anderson, The Boat House in Prospect Park

While looking at the resulting painting this may be hard to believe – but Claude told us he had not used watercolor in years! His vibrant piece depicts his home in Queens, the red lights glowing in his room.

Claude Viaud Peralta, Home in Queens

As a trained architect with a propensity for long walks admiring the built environment of our historic land-marked Clinton Hill Brooklyn neighborhood, Quentin skews the vantage point with reflected images in puddles.

Quentin Williamston, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Nayarit depicts her school TYWLS (The Young Women’s Leadership School) in Brooklyn. “I was there for seven years and definitely built a community there with people that I am still in touch with 😍!”

Nayarit Tineo, TWYLS Brooklyn I
Nayarit Tineo, TWYLS Brooklyn II

Halli writes about her two paintings: “Although death is considered a sad subject and many cemeteries are sad, Hartsdale Cemetery where my cat is buried is always filled with a loving energy- green and calm. You can tell everyone buried there was loved. When I see Nigel’s headstone I’m filled with calm and happiness, I see only it against the green and gray of headstones.”

Halli Beaudoin, Hartsdale Cemetery I
Halli Beaudoin, Hartsdale Cemetery II

Jacob “made a painting of brutalist Soviet architecture in St. Petersburg. There were times when the architecture felt bleak and oppressive, but there were other moments when I could feel the utopian intentions of these buildings. I particularly liked this view of the river. One side had a long short building, the other side had narrower and taller buildings.

Jacob Rath, St. Petersburg, Russia

In our critique Jacob “complemented August for drawing inspiration from Miyazaki in his work. August, like Miyazki, made a building – which combined a lighthouse and an octopus -- that was charming and whimsical.”

August Levenson, Miyazki inspired Lighthouse Octopus

Marilyn delicately painted the stained glass window in St. Peter’s Parish Church in Speightstown, Barbados which she visited with friends last January.

Marilyn August, Church in Barbados

Wayne celebrates his travel to The Baltic States - Vilnius, Lithuania and Tullinn, Estonia which had particular significance as he explored the Lithuanian part of his heritage.

Wayne Gross, The Baltic States

Sarah “chose to paint the small metal house boxes that people and a whole community live in Cape Town, South Africa. It is a place where I get affected by so much and think of it on so many occasions. Especially now, with the Coved situation, it is hard to be social distancing. I decided to fade the background to use the same technique as the artist Quentin showed us her work by Sunga Park and to show the massive amount of metal boxes in every part of South Africa.”

Sarah Gumgumji, Cape Town, South Africa

Watercolor Super Star Fatima painted two scenes from her travels in Mexico and London.

Fatima Traore, Mexico
Fatima Traore, London

Vera depicts El Monumento de Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Vera Tineo, l Monumento de Santiago, Dominican Republic

Jenn paints a memory of a New Year’s trip to Mexico City. The street decorated with celebratory flags creating a sort of hallway to traverse.

Jennifer Dodson, Mexico City

Pat brings us “Rome! This is a view of some storefronts as you approach Largo Argentina from the river. It is a memory from my first time in Rome. Largo Argentina (over by the trees on the right) is an archaeological site and also feral cat sanctuary, but it is right in the middle of a modern neighborhood, complete with a cartoleria where you can buy stationary and office supplies, including these cute little notebooks you could get two for a euro.”

Pat Larash, Largo Argentina, Rome

Fun Fact: I help support Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary through their adopt-a-cat-from-a-far program. My first Torre Argentina ward was the regal feline called Pandoro pictured below. The volunteers who match supporters up with cats claim I am good luck for the cats because soon after I adopt-from-a-far the cats have all been quickly adopted into forever homes.

Pandoro, Largo Argentina, Rome

I too traveled to Rome with my depiction of the cortile (center courtyard) of the main McKim, Mead & White building at The American Academy in Rome where I have to my delight and inspiration returned many times as a visiting artist.

Meridith McNeal, Courtile, American Academy in Rome

Ed opted to revisit a favorite corner boasting several elegant buildings with Mansard Roofs in Manhattan. When Ed explained during critique that his piece is a reimagining of his large painstakingly detailed Mansard Roof painting, Claude asked if Ed might show the earlier piece. Several of us stayed late to view this stunning work and talk to Ed about his process.

Ed Rath, Mansard Roof (NYC) II

Here is Ed’s earlier Mansard piece:

Ed Rath, Mansard I, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 40x48"

CREATE Interviews are our new thing! ART YARD CREATE Program Manager Sarah Gumgumji has worked really hard on its new iteration – ART YARD CREATE Interviews. Sarah designed a dynamic and visually interesting format for the interviews and even did her own portrait of Glendalys to add to the page.


Huge congratulations to ART YARD Artists Vera Tineo and Claude Viaud Peralta who teamed up to propose a community mural for NYC Health + Hospitals’. Their hard work on their proposal was well spent as their project was selected from over 130 applications as one of the shortlisted projects! They interviewed with a committee via Zoom this week and we wish them in bocca al lupo!!

Vera Tineo, Essential Workers from Mural Proposal

Always traced with ephemerality — the snow likely melted before the rendering was done — paintings of snow now record a double evanescence.” What It Means to Look at Paintings of Snow, New York Times, Amy Waldman Jan 19, 2021

Inspired by the lovely New York Times piece and multiple NYC snow days, I asked if any Advanced Studio Artists had some snowy art to add to this recap. Here you have it some Snow Days with ART YARD:

Ed Rath, Cold Boots, 1997, acrylic on canvas, 40x50"
Ed Rath, Metal House, 1999, acrylic on canvas, 38x68"
Meridith McNeal, Inside Outside First Snow (Clinton Hill, Brooklyn), 2018, watercolor on paper, 45x45"

Jacob wrote to say: “While this isn't literally a painting of snow, the piece I made for Flavia's class uses the colors that dominate on a snowy sunny January day. The white is obviously snow, the light blue is the color of shadows on the snow, and the gold is especially strong the hour before the sun sets."

Adding, this piece for Meridith's visualization class depicts a scene that took place in Minneapolis. Despite being bundled up for the winter, I am standing barefoot in a stream of melted snow in the middle of the street."

Jacob Rath, Visualization, colored pencil on paper, 2021

Jacob also sent a third snow day image and missive: “On Dec 22, 2019 (the Winter Solstice), I watched the sun rise on Lake Nokomis (the lake was frozen, so I was able to stand on the lake). I did a sun salutation while I was watching the sun rise. This photo shows where my body came in contact with the lake.”

Jacob Rath, Winter Solstice, 2019

Dennis says “I didn’t paint snow but photographed it while dog walking (umm ... more like dog carrying) in Central Park. Sculptor unknown.”

Dennis Buonagura, Photo of central Park Snow Creature, 2021

When Dennis sent his second photo I asked if he had knitted the scarf. He replied: “No - nor did I make that snow person donning an upturned Doritos bag as a hat. S/he was waiting for me and pugs when we went out to walk (crawl, rather).”

Dennis Buonagura, Photo of central Park Snow Person, 2021

Our friend and ART YARD supporter Mike Bliss sends in this photo of his entry way just after the “The Blizzard of ‘21” UK style!

Mike Bliss, Snowy Garden, Aylsham, Norfolk, UK, 2021

Did anyone see this stunning artists snow sculpture for the pandemic in Astoria?! Hippocrates of Astoria is a symbolic protector made by artists Melissa Vadakara and Marios Tzavellas. Photo taken just after he sacrificed part of his arm to save the neighborhood from the pandemic. (photo by Tzavellas and Vadakara):

Melissa Vadakara and Marios Tzavellas, Hippocrates of Astoria, 2021 (photo by the artists)

If you are looking for some inspiration and want to see some fabulous work being done during the pandemic, I recommend taking a look at Isolation to Creation, All Arts created by WNET. This week (February 10th) my friend José Carlos Cruzata Revé was featured on the program. He is in the last segment and you can hear his wonderful saxophone playing clearly in the clip!

Screen shot from Isolation to Creation, José Carlos Cruzata Revé playing saxaphone

Do you have any Snowy Day images? We’d love to see them!

❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ,

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Meridith McNeal
Meridith McNeal
15. Feb. 2021

@nayarittineo I totally agree!!

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12. Feb. 2021

I am astonished by the amazing work that everyone did this week !!!

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