Tag Archives: Blue Paintings

Summer into Fall and Beyond

01. Iceland studio.I’m writing this as I’m preparing for my fall exhibitions and thinking about my Artist Residency in Iceland December-January. Do we always just have the perception that the summer passes quickly or does it in reality? I’m like a kid that thinks I’ll have lazy down time in the summer months and then when the good part should begin—boom, zoom the summer is over.

02. Cuba

The hot weather for me started in May on a trip to Havana, Cuba for their 12th Art Biennial. The trip was a packed 8 days of art, artists and revelations! Colorful, chaotic, musical, multi-layered, with a background of romantic buildings in decay and new friends! The biggest thrill was to find out that culture is an economic engine of Cuba.

In June I worked on my Antarctic pieces inspired by my expedition last year. I’m excited that Mary Anne Redding will be curating this 4 month exhibit of “Antarctic Inspirations” with David Vogel and myself at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, NC spring 2016. I’ll keep you posted.

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bluesArt Aspen at the Aspen Ice Garden was jumping in August and my Denver gallery—Michael Warren Contemporary showed work from my blue paintings.

September 11th begins my 6-week exhibition at Michael Warren Contemporary, Denver. I’m thrilled to be working with Mike McClung and Warren Campbell, both of whom are 06.path Takenknowledgeable and appreciative of my art—an artist’s ultimate affirmation. I really look forward to this exhibit that was curated with their exceptional eyes. Hope you get to the Mile High to see this! I’ll be there at the opening September 11.

In August I gratefully participated in a group exhibit of over 100 international artists at the Haegeumgang Theme Museum in South Korea. This extraordinary exhibition resonates the poetry of Taro Aizu bringing attention to Japan’s nuclear accident at Fukushima after the earthquake. japanThe tragedy there is far from over—we can’t forget.

07. LuminersIn November I will have a solo exhibit at the esteemed Delaplaine Visual Art Center in Frederick, MD overlooking the historic Carroll Creek Park. “Water + Water” will display work on paper inspired by water! The opening is November 7 closing December 20.

Besides the busy buzz of preparing and shipping work to these various exhibits I have just begun also to plan and schedule a commissioned triptych of BLUES—excited about that! And the editing and planning for a book of my poems written during an Artist Residency at the Morris Graves Foundation is in the works to be available on Amazon.

08. Crates2I am so grateful to have the assistance in my work and studio of Joni Tobin Mayer and Julianne Aguilar. Their loyalty, sensibilities and skill sets are invaluable to me.

In 2016 I’m planning (we know how that goes) to do tidying of house, studio and life as outlined by Marie Kondo in her immensely popular book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”. This will hopefully include a studio sale of some of my inventory!

Can’t wait to be in the quiet winter time of Iceland… mpl

northern lights

Tag Archives: Blue Paintings

Sea and Sky, Rockport Center for the Arts

01.Last year John Aasp, the curator at the Rockport Center for the Arts in the Texas Gulf, contacted me about an exhibit idea he had. The Center hosts a Home Tour every spring and he wanted to integrate my art with the woodwork of George Bagnall and Michael Geer. As most of my paintings use fabricated birch frames John thought the art and woodwork would both stand-alone and yet show cohesively. John‘s vision and enthusiasm for the project excited me and I agreed to put the exhibit’s time slot on my calendar for 2015.

We kept in touch as the year unfolded with contracts and ideas. At some point in our conversations John expressed a concept for my work that would express the environment of Rockport’s sea and sky. As my work reflects a sense of ‘place’ this seemed a perfect theme as sea and sky are definitely inspirations for my work.

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We soon chose an inventory of my work to be shipped and decided to use Sea and Sky for the title of my exhibit. I was very curious how John would install my art with the woodwork but had a great deal of faith in his vision as John is an accomplished artist (www.johnaasp.com) and had been curating exhibits at the Center for 8 years.

03.As you well know time passes quickly, especially quickly it seems for timelines of crating and shipping work. I made plane and hotel reservations to be in Rockport for the exhibit’s April 11th opening reception and gallery talk and also the Home Tour. I arrived at the gallery the day before the opening and was so thrilled to see John’s vision unfold before me so exquisitely.

There were wonderful breathing spaces between the art works. The wood furniture echoed my art with simplicity and elegance. In the entry space the furniture repeated its forms just as my work repeats color and shape—the repetitions resounding the intention. The intertwining of art and wood created a cadence of earthbound/sky-bound.

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07Our hotel room faced the Gulf bay with its broad vista. The weather was refreshing for dry-landers like me as clouds, rain and storms prevailed. It created a perfect backdrop for some of my paintings that are inspired by the sometimes chaotic weather systems of sea and sky.

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That evening we began to discover palate bliss with our choice of diverse restaurants. We luckily had guests and eating pals that traveled from Houston for the exhibit and we began eating through 09Rockport starting with yummy Italian cuisine and proceeded to exceptional seafood. The most entertaining meal was a fish boil that literally dumped our orders on our table with a mallet as our only eating tool.

The opening reception was enthusiastic. The Rockport Center for the Arts knows how to throw a party. Their active arts community came out in droves and they were an attentive audience for the artist panel of 11.Michael, George, our moderator John Aasp, and myself. It’s always a pleasure for me to talk about the intentions of my work. Reductive work like mine requires some backstory and deep looking for understanding.

I enjoyed having the woodworkers talk about their approaches to their work and John asked probing questions. Afterwards refreshments magically appeared to add to the festivities and I 16had opportunities to speak one-on-one to the people in the audience.

We then had a day to rest and another to venture out into the nature of the gulf. That was exhilarating. In just a few hours we saw migrating birds, crocodiles, wild turkeys, a cardinal, a pelican, deer and most exciting 2 bobcats! Wow. Nature and art are a great combination to complete a wonderful weekend.

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18.Art centers can be an exquisite way to provide art experiences in a community with exhibitions, classes, and in the case of Rockport Center for the Arts, a film festival, a home tour and an energetic, talented staff and volunteers providing exceptional experiences for audience and artists alike. I am grateful to have worked with this marvelous organization and look forward to working with Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, MD in November.

Best, Marietta

PS: John Aasp left Rockport after the opening of Sea and Sky to become the Gallery Director for the College of Imaging Arts & Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY. I look forward to following his new ventures.

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Tag Archives: Blue Paintings

Exhibiting at NMSU’s Art Gallery

Breathing Lessons 1-5Selections from the Permanent Collection at The University Art Gallery, NM State University, Las Cruces will include my 5 piece blue painting installation, Breathing Lessons. These pieces are painted on paper adhered to wood frames that recede to the wall. The installation creates wonderful shadow effects that become part of the piece. The University purchased this when it was part of the 2-person exhibit Visceral Whispers featuring the work of Betty Hahn and myself in 2005.

This exhibit will be open July 2 – August 3. An opening reception will be held July 5th from 5-7pm.

Breathing Lessons is part of my ongoing Blue Series that began in 2001 with my residency at Crater Lake, OR the deepest bluest lake in the US. Being immersed in the beauty of this lake gave me an appreciation for the healing possibilities of the color blue. Blue has many associations for people but calmness, nature and wellness are very prevalent. My excavation of blue lead me to think about other colors and how they influence our lives thus began other series of work focusing on color.

Tag Archives: Blue Paintings

Ode to Curators

Jeanne Brasile, Director of Seton Hall University’s Walsh Gallery, and I had been in dialogue about my art over a couple of years and how to present my work in an exhibition. The process of watching her assimilate my work and paring down all the facets of my output (paintings, sculptures, work on paper, et al.) to a cohesive concept was observing the mastery of a curator’s skill. As a result she luckily became the curator of my exhibition “Earthly Pleasures” showing at the Walsh Gallery until April 5, 2013 (pictured below).

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It is a wonderful thing for me to witness a curator design an exhibit of my work that executes their vision. Just less than a year ago Jeanne commented that the exhibit she envisioned would revolve around my travels and observations of the natural worlds I experienced, using the colors they presented as was nurtured by my Grandmother many years earlier. Brasile familiarized herself with my oeuvre so that it became possible for her to choose the work that supported her idea, writing the names of the pieces on the gallery’s blueprint with the installation designs she envisioned. This she confidently did by email.

And the exhibit was executed exactly as Jeanne conceived it six months before receiving the work in hand. The clarity with which she visualized her intentions and the superb fulfillment of those intentions fill me with admiration, awe and so much respect for Jeanne and for curators. It is a delight for me to walk into the gallery and recognize a “story” told so well with my art and the curator’s understanding of my issues. Thanks Jeanne Brasile!

I think you will gain an understanding of Jeanne’s curatorial process if you read Jeanne’s statement below, accompanied by photographs of the exhibit “Earthly Pleasures” by David Vogel:

27Marietta Patricia Leis’ lush, saturated color field paintings function as fenestrations into an unconfined world of natural forms. The oil paintings are, in part, evocative of landscapes, seascapes, plant forms, weather patterns or micro-organisms and can be concomitantly seen as many of these phenomena. Nuances of color and light palpably depict a range of imagery that encapsulates a life of experience, serving as complex memory portraits that tap into emotions and feelings. For Leis, the paintings are meditations on specific places and times in her life.

The earliest of these memories date to the time she spent with her maternal grandmother, Ermelinda Fiore. Ermelinda’s world was one of scents and colors, a lasting impression on Leis’ young mind. Leis recalls accompanying her grandmother to the garden, spending hours listening to her as she described the flowers and their various attributes. Making their way back to the house, they would then arrange the flowers into bouquets, an art form in her grandmother’s home. The kitchen was similarly filled with indulgences of taste, smell and creativity. Cooking was also a form of creative expression for her grandmother and provided another realm of aromas and colors amid a backdrop of floral arrangements from the garden.

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Leis’ more recent influences are derived from her extensive travels, one of the most seminal being a trip to Italy in 1979. There she tapped deeper into her Italian heritage and absorbed a new range of 48colors and influences. After an artist residency in Crater Lake, Oregon, Leis’ painting took on new resonance. She began to travel more widely to such exotic locations as Thailand, Greece, the Antarctic, Finland, Spain and Portugal. Having experienced a variety of locales, each with their own particular light and color conditions, her paintings took on the task of expressing the bounty of nature and its variety of nuances.

The multiplicity of blue shades encompassed in the sky and water became one of her favorite muses. This can be seen most clearly in works like Barrier Rift I & II, Breathless 1-6, and QuietnessDepictions of atmospheric conditions are expressed in Pixels, which indicate a variety of tones and colors as well as the formless structures of fog and light. But Leis’ work always draws upon her early years back in New Jersey with her grandmother. The Seed paintings offer us a variety of green, brown and golden hues culled from her “nonna’s” garden. The sheer variety of colors, light conditions, hues, tones and saturations attributed to Leis’ work reveals an artist that is concerned with looking at, meditating on, luxuriating in the bounty of nature and all its endless permutations. In Earthly Pleasures we enter a world that Leis constructs for us from memory. It is the absence of a very specific, figurative language that leaves us with occasion to assemble memories borne of our own experiences. Leis’ ability to reference her own past and present, while bridging that of her audience makes her painting resonate so profoundly. In every work we sense the artist’s gratitude and awe in the bounty of nature and we, too, can feel it intensely.

– Jeanne Brasile, Curator

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Tag Archives: Blue Paintings

Earthly Pleasures at Seton Hall University

pixel-installEarthly Pleasures, a solo exhibition of my work curated by Jeanne Brasile, will be shown at the Walsh Gallery, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ. The exhibit will run from March 11th-April 5th with an opening reception on March 14th,  from 5-8pm. It will encompass work of the last 12 years that reflects my impressions of the many places I have traveled. There will be approximately 57 pieces shown including paintings from the Blue Series, Green Series, and Pixels, as well as works on paper and some sculptures.

Being a native daughter of East Orange, NJ, I grew up close to the University where there was an enclave of Italian-Americans, one being my grandmother, Ermelinda Napoliello. She was an enormous influence on my sense of beauty, aesthetics and especially of color.  I would work by her side in her garden of adundant colors. The use of color in my work reflects this early exposure and drew Brasile to my work.

Peter Frank, art critic of the Huffington Post, has written an essay that accompanies the exhibition:

MARIETTA PATRICIA LEIS: GALLERY OF EARTHLY PLEASURES

Vapor_5Marietta Patricia Leis’ markedly minimal artwork – and minimalist sensibility – belies, but at the same time subtly conveys, its richness of source. However self-referential Leis’ emphatically reductive paintings, objects, and painted objects may seem, they begin in response to stimuli in the observed world. This in itself does not define, much less explain, their existence; if they act diaristically for Leis, emerging from her travels and her feelings, they do not – and should not – act prosaically for us. Rather, they function as distillations of experience, related to places and sensations inspiring them much as perfumes do to the scent sources comprising them. They are not about Leis’ life, but are conjured from it. They themselves provoke sensation, ineffable and yet profound.

Continue Reading

Tag Archives: Blue Paintings

Popular Ballad 4 Exhibits Again

Ballad 4 just returned to the studio from exhibiting in the International Tour that went to China, South Korea, and Istanbul. Now it’s been chosen to exhibit at the 28th Annual International  Exhibition at Meadows Gallery, University of Texas at Tyler. The exhibit opens January 8th and will show until February 8th with a reception January 17th. Wade Wilson, the director of galleries in both Santa Fe and Houston, selected Ballad 4 to be in this group exhibition. Ballad 4 is a 15 x 15” oil on canvas painting from my series, Atmospheres. The work was inspired by my artist residency in Scotland at the Cawdor Estate, home of Shakespeare’s MacBeth castle. See Stories 2 below, another painting from the Atmospheres series.

Stories2-web

Tag Archives: Blue Paintings

Exhibiting in Washington DC

My paintings, Limning 1, 2, and 4 are to be included in a group exhibit entitled Lo Studio dei Nipoti (The Studio of the Grandchildren, Nieces and Nephews) at the Hillyer Art Space at the International Arts and Artists in Washington, DC. September 7th-28th.

The exhibit, curated by Cianne Fragione and Rose Michelle Taverniti, features artists that have family ties to Southern Italy. It evolved from an artist residency of the title’s name that Taverniti initiated to help these artists form a connection to their roots.

Limnings are abstract paintings that reflect my travels on the Southern Coast of Italy by the Tyrrhenian Sea and will exhibit together as a grouping.

More details of the exhibit can be found on the Hillyer Art Space website. I hope you’ll have an opportunity to see the work of these wonderful artists.

Tag Archives: Blue Paintings

2012 Park Fine Art International Tour Show

Young-Sook Park, Gallery Director at Park Fine Art in Albuquerque, NM, has organized and curated a group exhibit with international artists that will travel to Beijing, Seoul, Istanbul, and conclude in Albuquerque.

I am delighted that my oil painting Ballad 4 will be included in this touring event that enables my work to be shown in far away places. It is always one of my favorite events! 

The tour will open in Beijing September 1st and finishes it’s tour November 16th. More information can be found at http://parkfineart.com/Announcement.aspx.

Tag Archives: Blue Paintings

Dave Hickey Chooses “Breathless”

Breathless, a series of 5 reductive oil paintings have been selected by Dave Hickey, renowned art critic, to be included in the exhibit, Texas National 2012. The exhibit dates are April 14th-May 26th. Breathless, is from Leis’ ongoing Blue Series inspired from water, sky and ‘blue’ feelings of both sadness and peace.

The Ledbetter Gallery at The Cole Art Center@The Old Opera House in Nacogdoches, TX will be the venue. This is a group exhibit representing artists from around the USA. It has been organized in conjunction with School of Art in the College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA), Charlene Rathburn, Director.

Tag Archives: Blue Paintings

Poem Published

Quietness/oil/canvas/48” sq.

Such gratifying news to share! An anthology of poetry, Fixed and Free (available at Amazon), has included my poem Blue written for my paintings the Blue Series. The color blue has been a large part of my work since 2001 after an Artist-in-Residence at Crater Lake, OR. Being in such close proximity to the deep blueness of that Lake every day set in motion a dialogue with the color blue for a long time and is still part of my studio and life experience. My work very much focus’ on color contemplating how it impacts our culture. It is a ‘blue and green’ planet that we inhabit.

Poems flow from my artwork. Text plates of poetry accompanied my Marietta Robusti Tintoretto series, Blue has appeared with my exhibits of blue work and presently 5 text plates are showing with my GREEN exhibit. Which comes first I don’t know. But come they do! I hope you have a chance to experience my poems.