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‘Color or Not’ opens at NorthWind’s new gallery

Trout lilies, by Catherine Hartung

SARANAC LAKE — Catherine Hartung and Lee Ann Sporn, two of NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery’s member artists, present their exhibit “Color or Not” as the first of a series in their new gallery space at 85 Main St.

These recent works range from colorful abstracts to monochromatic realism. Both artists broke through their pandemic doldrums by exploring new mediums and styles.

Gallery hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Tuesdays. Hartun will be available to meet people July 1, Sporn on July 2, and both on July 10.

Sporn challenged herself with two brand-new mediums for her: acrylic paint and charcoal. Taking a break from colored pencil, she said she was delighted with the painterly feel of charcoal, her ability to produce large-scale pieces in fine detail, and the opportunity to focus purely on form and texture. She remained true to her favorite subjects: birds, reptiles and amphibians. She also chose acrylic paint on paper to intuitively capture her recent experiences in the High Peaks using color, shape and mark-making: the frozen landscape on mountain summits, the color of water in streams during spring melt, vernal pools and colorful spring blooms.

Hartung, after a year of feeling gray, is using all the colors on her palette. She includes paintings inspired by her gardens, where she looked beyond the visual image and embraced her subjects as individual beings. She endowed them with emotion — connected to each other and to their surroundings. She presents abstract city scenes that reflect the sense of isolation urban dwellers may have felt during the recent pandemic. These works feature a mix of human-made elements and natural phenomena. And she’s painted one of her favorite subjects — trees.

Old-growth forest at Ampersand Mountain, by Lee Ann Sporn

NorthWind Fine Arts is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Wood frog, by Lee Ann Sporn

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