Warming up winter at the Louisa Gould Gallery


If the world is seeming pretty gray to you at the moment, you might want to head over to Louisa Gould’s gallery for a colorful respite from the winter palette. Currently the downtown Vineyard Haven gallery is hosting two shows that might just brighten up your mood.

“Winter Blooms” features work by five artists each of whom presents floral images in their own unique style. The “New Works for Winter” exhibit is equally vibrant with lots of new mixed-media pieces by abstract artist Deborah Colter, along with a sampling of new paintings by gallery favorites Wooley Dutton, Kate Huntington, John Holladay and others.

There are some surprises among the subjects chosen by these artists. Jack Hornady adds a nice pop of color with his painting “Red Falcon” of a vintage convertible on a bright summer day with the ocean in the background. Alexander Averbach’s still life features a teacup brimming with blueberries done in a hyper-realism style, while Wooley Dutton’s roosters show off their colorful plumage against baby blue skies. Nick Paciorek has chosen to focus on a scene familiar to snowbirds. Two images of skiers in colorful gear are pictured on ski-lifts rendered from the viewpoint of someone down below.

Edgartown resident Deborah Colter, whose work dominates the “New Work for Winter” exhibit, has been represented by Louisa Gould for the past few years. “I love her sense of color,” says Gould. “I love the layering with collage elements.”

Colter builds up each piece using layers of acrylic paint, painted paper, and other collage elements, along with bits of drawing made with charcoal, pastels, or crayons. She also sometimes scrapes away at the existing paint to add further markings and texture.

Geometric shapes provide the blueprint for Colter’s paintings. Squares, rectangles and irregular angular forms are the focal point — providing balance and setting the predominant color scheme. From there all types of other design elements integrate fluidly so that the resulting image is soothing — far from chaotic.

Colter starts with one element and builds from there. Along with scraps of handmade paper, she often incorporates bits from newsprint, old maps, cookbooks or antique journals.

“It’s an interesting process — I’m always building,” says the artist. “I like construction/deconstruction. It’s always a mystery where it’s going to lead. I never know. I think to myself, ‘Take me on a journey. Show me what you want.’ I trust that the universe will show me something interesting to me in some way.”

Not surprisingly, the “Winter Blooms” show, hanging concurrently with the “New Work” exhibit, is rich with sumptuous color. There are a few traditional still lifes by Nadia Mahfuz and Alexandra Averback, along with some more impressionistic depictions of simple bunches in glass containers that give the sense that someone has just returned from their garden with a joyful handful.

Wooley Dutton has contributed a number of pieces that show off her versatility in terms of style. These range from close up images of water lilies rendered realistically to a series of semi-abstract studies in color and form featuring floral motifs.

Peggy Turner Zablotny’s fabulous floral collage prints are well represented in the show. Zablotny presses flowers and other botanicals, arranges them imaginatively and then photographs and prints the resulting images creating fantastical images bursting with color.

“New Works for Winter” and “Winter Blooms” will continue to hang at the Louisa Gould Gallery through the end of March. The gallery is at 54 Main St., Vineyard Haven. Visit louisagould.com



  1. Hello Gwyn-
    Great article! Btw, Jack Hornady is spelled incorrectly. No “a” btwn the “d” and “y”.

    Thank you!!
    -Jack Hornady

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