New England Scenes
An Exhibit of Watercolors by Jean Kozlowski
The Wendell Free Library is pleased to present an exhibition of watercolors by Northfield artist Jean Kozlowski. Nine of the ten works in this show were painted outdoors, the artist’s favorite location for working. Painting landscapes directly from nature presents unique challenges to say the least. Besides requiring basic skills in a particular medium, the artist needs to be both patient yet quick, adjusting to changes in light and weather conditions. There is nothing like enthusiastically getting into a painting, working on a specific part, having mixed the perfect color, only to have your entire easel blown over by a strong gust of wind.
While plein air painting does not lend itself to overworking a piece, in these paintings Jean intentionally creates a jaunty, informal feeling. Her loose handling of wet on wet watercolor often enhances lively compositions. She achieves this partly through brushwork but more boldly through the use of opposing diagonal elements.
In “Marshall Point Lighthouse” the slight diagonal angle of the pier predominates over the horizon line. This is in contrast to the diagonal of the lighthouse roof that slants in the opposite direction. These elements are contrasted with the flowing brushwork describing the rocks that drops to the foreground. These three areas develop an energetic system of visual forces making the composition very lively.
In the painting “Monhegan Lighthouse” the angle of the roof is tilting in the opposite direction from the wall in the foreground. Again, in “Henry’s Place, Monhegan”, Jean opposes diagonals in the rooftops and in the path. The solidity of the buildings contrasts with the energetic brushwork of the foreground foliage and the angle of the rowboat that leads the eye back towards the houses. These esthetic elements help develop landscapes that are solid, dynamic and friendly at the same time.
Jean, who graduated from Tufts, has been a teacher for thirty-five years and a painter for about as long. Early on she began focusing on watercolor as her favorite medium. She has studied privately with a variety of instructors as well as having attended workshops by numerous artists, among them American Watercolor Society members: Tony van Hasselt, Domenic DiStephano, and Judi Wagner, as well as Caleb Stone. She has exhibited her work in many juried shows in Maine and Massachusetts.
In her statement, “An Artist’s Journey”, Jean writes “Retiring from teaching made me able to give much more time to my painting. By then I had moved to Northfield, Ma., where I joined the Painters of Old Deerfield, one of the best decisions I ever made. Then Mimi Pieropan was the leader of the group. We painted outside in good weather and in winter inside the White Church in Old Deerfield. Yearly trips in summer took us to Port Clyde and to Monhegan Island, Maine. These were such inspirational places to paint all day.”
“Finally I joined trips abroad with Ann Fisk, the “Traveling Paint Brush”. We painted in the Caribbean, the mountains of France, towns along the Mediterranean as well as in England, Spain and Italy. This gave me a chance to paint with others and have the opportunity to experience different landscape from my own in New England.”
“I am still painting, learning, and finding more challenges in my journey with art. My contacts with other artists have enriched my life, making me stretch my imagination and keeping my paintbrushes wet.”
Mrs. Kozlowski can be reached by phone at 413-498-5344 and via email at .
Please stop by and view this exhibition that runs from May 1st through the end of June in the Herrick Room at the Wendell Free Library.
Library hours: Tuesday 3-6; Wednesday 10-8; Saturday 9:30-3:30.