All About Armonk

North Castle Daily News

New Artist in Armonk – Linda Richichi Finds New Energy in Her New Town

August 17, 2014
To the town’s great fortune, love has brought award-winning painter, Linda Richichi to Armonk. From her earliest childhood in scenic Orange County, New York, Linda loved observing nature and painting what she saw. Richichi has exhibited extensively and her work is in private, public, and museum collections around the world. Featured in the International Artist Magazine under Master Painters of the World (2005), she is an internationally recognized landscape painter and portraitist with awards including the nationwide Best Intuitive Artist from (2012) and Best of Show Ontario Purchase Award at the International Plein Air Painters ‘Paint Out’ in 2006. The painting, featuring Niagara Falls, now hangs in the Ontario City Hall.

Her marriage on May 17 to author, Armonk native and longtime resident Mark Weston was held at the Windmill Club, where Richichi has found much inspiration lately. A selection of her work, including lively renderings of the local lake community and scenes around Armonk will be featured at Framings, 420 Main Street, during the shop’s 25th anniversary celebration. Meet the artist and see her work on display there on September 20 from 6 to 8 pm. Her exhibit runs through October 11.

All About Armonk interviewed Linda Richichi via email this week about her work.

AAA: Has art always been a major force in your life?

LR: My first memory is at the age of two when my mom bought me a standing easel and I remember thinking even then that I am an artist. Drawing people always came easy. I received my first commission at the age of sixteen and won my first award at the age of five.

AAA: Your resume is filled with impressive entries. Can you define a few of the less familiar terms – such as Plein Air Painters?

LR: Plein air is a French term that means “in the open air”. This manner of painting allows me to feel the energy in nature and bring this feeling indoors through the painting. For me it is all about the way the work opens the heart.

AAA: How about intuitive art?

LR: My definition of intuitive art is allowing the muse to take over to receive inspiration. Everyone can paint intuitively in an expressionistic way. This is what children do when they pick up a crayon and just draw. I am fortunate enough to be classically trained so when I feel the muse calls on a bird to be drawn, I can draw the bird realistically. Sometimes I watch my hand draw or paint and not know what is coming next. That’s what happens in my intuitive art.

AAA: How would you define your style?

LR: I am a colorist working in a more impressionist style. The teachers that have had the most influence on me are John Philip Osborne who taught me about the prismatic effect of light, and Albert Handel who also works very intuitively with color. I needed to see that he also needed silence to work. Both are landscape painters and very different from each other.

AAA: What media do you use and which do you prefer?

Pastels are one of my favorite media because the colors are prismatic and when used properly, they sparkle. I’ll make a study in pastel and then create a larger painting that has the qualities of the pastel in oil. Both pastel and oil are pure pigment ground to a powder. Oil is added to the pigment to make oil paint. Pastels are the same pigment with only a touch of binder added to make them like dough, then they are rolled into a stick to be dried. Pastels are placed under glass for protection. Oils are varnished for protection. Pastel satisfies my craving to draw and the oils quench a thirst to paint.

AAA: What about painting inspires you?

LR: I like making work that allows people to re-visit memories or feelings that are uplifting. Art for me is a means to raise our vibration and bring us toward happiness. Color is one vehicle that can take us to a new place when we take the time to allow it to work on us. Vivid colors bring me peace and happiness. Symbolism also helps to make a feeling stronger, so that when others see a work they can feel what I felt. When I am inspired I do my best work. To awaken my spirit I pay attention to what I am pulled toward.

AAA: You have painted the Windmill Club and Windmill Lake in some of your recent work. What is compelling there?

LR: Our almost daily walks around the lake have inspired me. I was especially inspired by the view of the club from across the lake.  When I heard the club was not the usual subject matter by other artists, I took on the challenge and had such fun capturing the fun members were having.

Walking around Windmill Lake over and over made me aware of one particular tree that is different from the others. Beyond this tree you see the clubhouse. The light worked. The shadows were filled with colors. The space between the foreground and the distant focal point is deep enough that it pulls us in and engages us. Art inspires all of us in different ways. Our job is to find what makes us happiest, what speaks to our soul. I love to surround myself with paintings and art that keeps my soul satisfied. They change over time as I grow spiritually.

AAA: Your scope of subjects is broad. You did a series of paintings for a birthing center. Did that evoke some special themes?

LR: Yes, one of my patrons asked me to create a collection that would adorn the halls of the birthing center at a hospital. The intention was that the first energy that the families and babies would be surrounded by would be love-energy. I have received so many emails from strangers telling me that they love these paintings. It makes them feel good. A healing work of art should raise the spirit of the viewer.

AAA: What is involved in the process of doing commissions? Is that a direction you enjoy pursuing?

LR: It is a pleasure to create works of art for those wishing special pieces. The first step for me is to really listen to see what vision the person commissioning me has. After a quick sketch to make sure we are on the same page, I begin the work of art and take the time necessary to bring my own inspiration, style and sensibility to the commission. Commissions take longer, and I have a waiting list.
I love creating collections for places, or pieces for private collectors. They vary from landscapes, garden and house portraits, animal portraits, and portraits of people both in the traditional manner or as a soul portrait. Some of my traditional portraits are hanging in the Trotter’s Hall of Fame Museum in Goshen, NY.

AAA: How important is framing in the artistic process?

That’s a great question. When I look for a frame, I search for one that brings out the work, not the frame. Locally, you have one of the best frame shops around. Years ago, when I studied under Andrew Lattimore, he suggested we all bring our work to Framings in Armonk. At the time I lived an hour away and brought one of my Italian vistas to Judy so she could do her magic and find the right frame. She picked out a dark frame which brought the eye right into the piece. What a surprise it was last year for me to remember that this was the frame shop that I visited long ago.

AAA: What award are you proudest of?

The award I am most proud of is a Best of Show at an international plein air painting competition held in Canada. I went there just to have fun and did just that. The painting was of Niagara Falls. The piece now hangs in the city hall in Ontario.

Interview by Nomi Schwartz

Sponsored Feature

Armonk's Art Gallery
Northern Westchester Artists Guild Announces ART in TARRYTOWN

May 31, 2015
An opening reception for ART in TARRYTOWN will be held on June 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Martin Stankiewicz Gallery. The Northern Westchester Artists Guild, a nonprofit organization, proudly supports the artists’ endeavors of ART in TARRYTOWN. They see all forms of art as vital expressions and voices in our community.

The show features the work of 17 guild members in a variety of mediums. Two Armonk residents, Luis Perez and Lanni Sidoti, are particpants in the show with watercolor paintings and handmade enamel jewelry, respectively.

The show will run from June 5 to June 21.
The gallery hours are:
• Thursday and Friday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.,
• Saturday from noon to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.,
• Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m.,
• or by appointment.

The Martin Stankiewicz Gallery is located at 5 North Washington Street, Tarrytown.

North Castle REc art classes

Luis F. Pérez: Inspiration in the Studio

By A.J. Brodsky

June 11, 2014
Last month, the North Castle Recreation and Parks Department hosted an art exhibit at the Hergenhan Recreation Center, featuring works by art students of three classes taught by Luis F. Pérez: Open Studio, Cartooning, and Intermediate and Advance Watercolor.

The cartooning students’ collaborative work includes characters drawn with a creative and personal twist. Mt. Olympus Diner features characters of mythology including Neptune, Triton, and Nike. The students' twist of the mythological characters are transposed into a different setting of the diner from Edward Hopper's Nighthawks. Neptune is the chef; Triton, the messenger of the sea, makes food deliveries; and Nike, the goddess of victory, is a matronly patron.

Mr. Pérez guides his students in their creative journeys, and their artwork shows it.

Armonk Artist Rosaline Oesterle Won First Place in Rowayton Exhibit

February 14, 2014
High-quality works by some of the region’s finest artists are on view through February 22 during “Inspiration,” a juried all-media exhibition at the Rowayton Arts Center. The juror was painter-printmaker Claudia Mengel, who selected 83 artworks from 121 entries and chose the winning art. "Awakening" by Armonk artist Rosaline Oesterle won first place in the oil painting category.

Discussing the exhibition, Mengel, says, “The title Inspiration conveys to the mind an image that comes from a strong influence. In selecting work for this exhibit, I looked at how the concept of ‘being inspired’ was conveyed to the viewer. The selection varied from known scenes in Nature to objects that were repurposed to create new ways of seeing things. I wanted the exhibit to have many different viewpoints. I considered the technical application and expected professional presentation of each piece. The awards for best in each category and best in show are based on addressing the concept as well as excellence in the execution.”

Winter hours for the RAC Gallery at 145 Rowayton Avenue, CT are from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free.

Students Exhibit a Multitude of Visual and Acoustic Interpretations at the Byram Hills Winter Art Show

January 31, 2014
Students from HC Crittenden Middle School and Byram Hills High School are enrolled in a plethora of art and music classes that explore many forms of creative study: painting; drawing; ceramics; photography; and digital designs; while many other students express their creativity through their involvement in band, orchestra and chorus.  

The young artists’ works of art were prominently displayed and a performed at the annual Byram Hills Winter Art Show on January 16, 2014. The show opened with a reception featuring a wide array of creative pieces at the high school’s Bobcat Hall; it was accompanied by a recital of different musical performances.

The show is the result of class lessons spanning several months that highlight the work of Byram Hills students; their work evolves from the exploration of line, light, form and color used in a variety of mediums. Students had the opportunity to visit museums in New York City and study artists from the virtual world of the Internet. The students’ visual and acoustic interpretations, along with the elements of design, were expressed in multiple mediums: still-life drawings, self-portraits, collages, photo manipulations and the scoring of clay and music. The works highlight a multitude of different ways to create a mixture of shapes, texture and different perspectives.

We are happy to share a few pieces of artwork from the exhibit, and we were fortunate enough to speak with a few artists who provided some insight into the process and influence of their works.


Students' Art Work Flourished at AP Exhibit

May 15, 2014
Byram Hills High School’s end-of-year Advanced Placement (AP) Art Show displayed student artwork from AP Graphic Design, AP Studio Art, and AP Photography classes. The students developed their portfolios to fulfill the requirement of Advanced Placement Art. Students are required to send 24 pieces to the Advanced Placement College Board for evaluation. The students’ artwork was exhibited in individual displays at the High School’s April 24 art show.

The AP students’ written reflections confirmed their passions for their medium. Some experimented with a series of different displays with pieces manipulated and created in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Their artistic success depended upon different emotions that were conveyed in a variety of ways, such as body parts portrayed as provocative images, or beauty and glamour transformed into the frightful and grotesque.

The students’ artwork consisted of photographs, digitally generated pieces, and drawings and paintings that represented the elements of art and the principles of design. The elements of art are line, texture, space, shape, form, value, and color that encompass the basic properties of art that can be perceived through the senses. The principles of design are balance, proportion, rhythm, emphasis (or point of focus), and unity that focuses more on the fundamental idea of a good visual design.

Over time, many of the students became more experienced artists, which allowed them to narrow their concentration of work by developing various techniques. Early on, some students may have struggled with finding a theme, but they eventually developed an interest and created a narrow focus as they moved forward in their studies.

Senior Nicole Spruck combined her love of horses with drawing and painting. Her initial doodling and drawings transformed into a combination of different media and styles producing printmaking, pencil drawings and oil paintings of unique pieces.

Senior Nina Moll focused on the minor details of nature, food and lines. She was guided to move on to “attention-grabbing types of textures,” testing “different filters and times for each print.”

Senior Rachel Sanders concentrated on the effects of lighting on nature. Her photography  focused on capturing the “effect that sunlight has on nature,”  working with nature’s reflections, shadows and light.

Senior Tess Romano was always enamored with the beauty and exotic colors of flowers. Capturing the reality of nature, her interpretation shows the details of nature’s beauty in an abstract and imaginative way.

Junior Ofir Dinstein defines his work as “Obstructed Views of Life.”  His photos captured “people doing everyday activities” that evolved with a more complex and layered appearance. Rather than framing his subject--who was unaware of the camera--he put them into the background and focused on the compositional elements of framing the subject.

Students manipulated photographs to obscure the identity and to give more of an abstract look, such as senior Samantha Steiner’s “underlying tone of edginess,” that creates a provocative mood as portrayed in her focus of “Naked Truth.” “My ultimate goal as an artist is for viewers to be unable to look away,” she says.

Grand Prize Congressional Art Competition Awarded to Young Armonk Artist 

May 23, 2014
Claire Furio won the 18th District Congressional Arts Award for her 'Tiger Eyes' painting. Claire is a 7th grader from Armonk who attends the School of the Holy Child in Rye.

In March, U.S. Representative Sean Patrick invited students to submit artwork to the annual competition. A panel of local artist judged the entries of more than 50 students and Claire’s “Tiger Eyes” was awarded the grand prize.

Dawn Furio, Clair’s mother says, “We are so proud of her.”

“This year’s winners and their original artwork showcases the creative talent and innovation of our students right here in our own community, and I am proud that Claire Furio’s painting will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol representing the Hudson Valley,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

The young and talented artist also recently won the Mayor's Choice Award in Harrison for her “Horse” painting that hangs in an art exhibit at Harrison’s Town Hall.

“Tiger Eyes” will hang at the United States Capitol for one year. Claire and a guest will receive a complimentary airfare to attend a June reception in Washington, DC.