Watkins Glen artist’s work showcased at Keuka

Sparks, an exhibit of paintings by Watkins Glen artist Ileen Kaplan, will be on display in Keuka College’s Lightner Gallery through March 31.An opening reception will be Sunday, March 9 from 2-4 p.m. in the gallery, located in the Lightner Library. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.A lifetime musician, Kaplan didn’t begin painting until a trip to Bavaria a decade ago “sparked in me a thought-you can paint this.”An art history minor in college, Kaplan knew a bit about painting, but had “no idea about technique, materials or how to begin.”So, she read as many books about painting as she could find, and realized she needed a teacher; she found five. Kaplan studied with Marty Poole, Marc Dennis, William Hopkins, Rich Musso, and Tom Buechner.For Kaplan, a painting “starts in a flurry of brushstrokes and then careens wildly between the poles of happy accident and agonized deliberation.””While I would love to paint only from life, I find working from reference photos allows me the freedom to work when I can,” said Kaplan. “I often take many photos of a subject from different angles and use them as a rough basis for a painting, frequently changing colors and backgrounds.”Kaplan’s work has been featured in group, solo and juried exhibitions in numerous regional galleries, including Heart Song Gallery (Greece), Rural Research Laboratory (Sayre, Pa.), Corning Community College, George Waters Gallery (Elmira College), Clinton House Gallery (Ithaca), State of the Art Gallery (Ithaca), among others.

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