Rich orange palette in Mark Zeender’s abstract landscapes

"Sengekontacket" by Mark Zeender. — Mark Zeender

Washington-based painter Mark Zeender brings a stunning palette of burnt sienna, tangerine, and amber to his handsome abstract landscapes now on display at Cousen Rose Gallery in Oak Bluffs through Friday, August 1.

“I’m a modern painter,” he said. “I’m not concerned with the ‘lie of depth.’ I’m concerned with the picture plane and the texture of the surface.” Many of his oil paintings display a band of midnight blue water at their base, then open up to orange skies with subtle variations of texture and color in, for example, a painting titled “Everything Has the Color of Dawn.” Inspired by Impressionists Turner and Whistler, Mr. Zeender both celebrates and re-invents the Island’s unique light with his unusual choice of palette. The works of Pierre Bonnard and Mark Rothko from the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. have also inspired him.

Other paintings by this artist utilize a blue palette that enriches the artist’s compositions of sky, land, and water. “Prelude” variegates its blues, executed in oil on arches of paper, a medium usually reserved for watercolor. This artist excels at both smaller canvases such as “Sengekontacket” and “Sepiessa with Moon” and large-scale paintings such as “Prelude.” His larger works flood the eyes with color, offering a welcome break from the green palettes of so many Vineyard landscapes. “Belle Isle,” with its delicate build-up of light pigments, conveys the illusion of city lights ranging above the water. Also on exhibit are some of his still lifes of flowers, resonant with color.

Wanda Wiggins, Ekua & Denmark open on August 2

Arriving at Cousen Rose on August 2, artist Wanda Wiggins will display her mixed media work next to collages by Ekua Holmes and James Denmark.

In celebration of Cousen Rose’s 35th anniversary, Anne Palmer, author of “The Gifted Trap: Emerge from Gifted to Great” will discuss what it means to be gifted at the gallery’s Saturday, August 2 reception. “As the daughter of a Tuskegee airman, I take great pride in perpetuating my father’s legacy of claiming greatness,” Ms. Palmer has written. “For 35 years Zita Cousens has been contributing to the rich history of Martha’s Vineyard by hosting a diverse collection of artists through the years. I am honored to be one of the 35th anniversary season’s featured artists.” Ms. Palmer will sign her book at the August 2 reception from 7 to 9 pm.

“Mark Zeender: Oil on Canvas,” through Friday, August 1.

Meet the Artists Reception with Ekua Holmes, James Denmark, and Wanda Wiggins, 7–9 pm, Saturday, August 2.

Author’s Book Signing, Anne Palmer, 7–9 pm, Saturday, August 2.

All events at Cousen Rose Gallery, Upper Circuit Ave., Oak Bluffs. For more information, visit