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Deborah Black’s Serene Paintings Inspired By Local Nature To Be Showcased

Kristen Catalano

"Keepers of Secrets 6" by Deborah Black.

This summer, Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton will highlight a special Deborah Black exhibition that will feature an extraordinary selection of Black's paintings from 1994 to 2014. The art show will be on display for just three days, from Tuesday, July 11 to Thursday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Black resided in East Hampton for many years before her death in 2015.

"Deborah Black stated that she sought to find her relationship to nature, noting 'the trees challenge me to find the essence behind them,'" explained Arlene Bujese, who curated the exhibition. "Using oil, acrylic, watercolor, and crayon, she drew and painted a number of series inspired by trees surrounding her home in East Hampton."

"Sky Series 4" and "Sky Series 17" by Deborah Black.

She often drew inspiration for her work from nature, specifically trees. Black was able to simplify tree forms through a combination of drawing and brush work while using crayons, oil paints and gouache.

"With a combination of drawing and gestural painting, she drew on her personal vision, exploring simplifying, taking essential form and transforming what she observed into expressionist works," shared Bujese. "Numerous tree shapes evolved, interacting with paths to water, or just among themselves as newfound form."

As a result of her unique brushwork, her work holds a meditative quality that is calming to look at. "She favored dark green, blue-black, with white sky areas to reflect the light which became a crucial element of her work," said Bujese. "The paintings are at once dynamic and meditative in mood."

One of Deborah Black's extraordinary works.

Several of Black's paintings have also been placed in Kanas Hospice Center in Quiogue.

"In later years, the artist moved further into abstraction, but these works were still true to the expression of essential nature and light," added Bujese.

An opening reception will take place on Tuesday, July 11 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Ashawagh Hall is located at 780 Springs Fireplace Road in East Hampton. For more information call 631-267-6554 or visit ashawagh-hall.org.

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