This Sunday, August 2, works by the late watercolor painter Gretchen Feldman will be on display at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center with an artist’s reception from 4 to 6 pm. “Gretchen Feldman: Martha’s Vineyard Watercolors (1934-2008)” is a Vineyard retrospective of more than 20 works by the artist that showcase the serene side of Island life and idyllic summer pastimes.
According to a press release, Ms. Feldman became a watercolor painter as a result of her visits to the Vineyard in the 1970s: “We are surrounded by water and so I would like to become a watercolor painter.” She realized this goal, in part, as she painted from her favorite locations: her studio and surrounding up-Island areas.
This show at the Film Center is of Ms. Feldman’s earlier watercolors of people and architecture on the Island. Each of the 20-plus pieces brings the viewer into a moment of Island life. Subjects include a stroll through the fishing village of Menemsha and a quiet moment in a summer cottage, evoking the beauty and peace of “our” Island home.
The palette of this exhibit is softer than most of Ms. Feldman’s other work. She creates a narrative of life not only of summers on the Island, but universally of people and places that we all come to know as home.
Born in Philadelphia in 1934 to an academic family, Ms. Feldman was raised in Baltimore and attended the Park School and Swarthmore College, and graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore. With husband Sam Feldman, she raised her family in Baltimore and worked as a textile conservator, and later moved to the Vineyard to surround herself with her exquisite garden sanctuary in Chilmark. Views of sea, sky, pond, and rolling hills flooded Feldman’s home and art studio with inspiration. At age 73, she was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, yet she continued to paint her “Cell Series,” which can be viewed on her website at gretchenfeldman.com. She lived and worked on Martha’s Vineyard from 1985 until her death from lung cancer in 2008.
Ms. Feldman’s work has been shown extensively, including at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, the Carol Craven Gallery, and the Old Sculpin Gallery on the Vineyard, and the Nevin Kelly Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Feldman’s luminous watercolors may be purchased from her show at the Film Center; 20 percent of the proceeds are a direct donation to the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society.
“Gretchen Feldman: Martha’s Vineyard Watercolors (1934-2008),” at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center from August 2 to August 16. For more information on Gretchen Feldman and her various forms of artwork, visit gretchenfeldman.com or contact Louisa Gould at 917-327-9229.