Taking inspiration from specific pieces of each other’s work and pairing them in the gallery, Ileen Kaplan and David Watkins have created pieces that reflect each artist’s unique point of view. Both Kaplan and Watkins have used nature as a starting point to create work that is filled with light and color.
The show will run March 31, 2022–May 1, 2022.
David: When Ileen found out that I was headed back to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park in October 2021, she asked me to think about creating some original work based on a few of her paintings. That was an interesting challenge and one that seemed at first, difficult to accomplish. That was until, while spending an early morning at one of my favorite Acadia locations, Eagle Lake, I noticed how the light had changed the color of the water and the reeds. I had several of Ileen’s paintings in my iPhone and the opportunity to take this photo, Reeds and Reflections in Shallow Green Water, worked in a way that was almost too perfect.
David: Spring Poppies was based on a version of my photograph Advance and Nick Sr., that is slightly different than shown. The original was part of an In Camera Movement series that I had been developing. In this case, after I saw Ileen’s painting, I reworked my photo with some additional texture and background color. While some may see that as a deviation of the original challenge, I think it shows how one artist’s work can influence another’s in a positive and creative manner.
I was inspired by a Matisse and Diebenkorn exhibition I saw several years ago where the curator paired work by each artist. I have always loved David’s use of light and color and thought it would be an exciting challenge to create some paintings that were inspired by his photographs.
I’ve always admired Ileen’s ability to create a light and color-filled canvas in the most interesting abstract way. This opportunity to exhibit with her led me to focus some of my own work on natural patterns of light and color in the landscape. Ultimately, the pairings in the show reflect how each of us “sees”.