I paint in a greenhouse beside an 18th century family farmhouse, at Old Hook Farm, the home of the third and fourth generations of the Marek family. After a day of painting, there are beautiful heirloom vegetables and fruits to take home to paint and for cooking. I have painted this farm‘s flowers, fields, crops and historic buildings over a decade, in series of art works. Even In winter, the greenhouse is filled with flowering lemon and jade trees, orchids and succulents. The farm is near the Hudson River where the quality of light is soft, and at times luminescent.
As a child, I spent summers by the sea on Fire Island and in the mountains of Pennsylvania. I was free to roam and explore on my own and developed an intrinsic love of the sea and Eastern woodlands. In my twenties I lived in the Southwest and painted the incredible vistas of sky with dusty pink-colored mountains and silver rivers running through the landscape. I accompanied my husband, an archaeologist, as we lived in Southern Colorado, and traveled through New Mexico and Arizona visiting ancient sites. The light and colors of the sky and earth were brilliant and required color palettes very different than those used for the gardens, waters, and countryside of the Northeast.
Currently I am painting two series. One of landscapes in four seasons with roots underground appearing as an intricate woven tapestry. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall flow into each other connecting seasonal skies and vegetation. The other is a series of people and orchids. Upon attending the annual orchid show at the New York Botanical Garden, it appeared as though visitors to the garden were enthralled with being in the Enid Haupt Conservatory amid the orchids, lush ferns and many other beautiful plants. Nature and the delicate balance of human interface with the environment are threaded throughout my art.
Colorado University in Boulder
Art Students League
New York Studio School
B.A. Fine Arts, Syracuse University, Syracuse New York
Spring Studio, Soho, New York
2018 Four Seasons on the Hudson, Westwood Gallery, Westwood, NJ
2017 Solo exhibit, Greenwich Hospital, Garden Cafe, Greenwich, Ct
2017 Salon 561, annual Faculty exhibit, Mikhail Zakin Gallery, The Art School at Old Church, Demarest, NJ
2017 Peripheral Vision, Flinn Gallery, Greenwich, Ct
2016 Abstract Landscapes and Inscapes, Westwood Gallery, Westwood, NJ
2016 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Hackensack University Medical Center, new emergency care wing
permanent collection purchase of the of Bee Garden and Sunflowers at Old Hook Farm paintings, Emerson, NJ
2016 Solo exhibit, Meadows, Gardens and The Sea, The Art Center of Northern New Jersey, New Milford, NJ
2016 Solo exhibit, Westwood Public Library, Westwood, NJ
2014 Artists from the Art School at Old Church, at the Belskie Museum, Closter, NJ
2014 Art of Healing, Englewood Hospital, Englewood, NJ
2007 – 2018 Salon annual faculty exhibits at the Mikhail Zakin Gallery, The Art School at Old Church, Demarest, NJ
Hudson River Studio in Four Seasons
Hudson River Studio series, Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn, each canvas is 40 x 30” © 2017
For one year my studio overlooked the Hudson River in Piermont, New York. While I painted the river in different seasons, weather and times of day, I decided to create a series in which the arched window, artist’s table top, wing chair and richly colored carpet would be constant and the objects on the table, on the wall and chair would reflect the changing seasons, also viewed in the changing landscape before me. The challenge was to remain consistent in the format, yet keep the viewer’s interest with different objects on the table and wall that I painted throughout the year. The paintings became autobiographical as I included objects from my life and from family and friends. In Winter the scarf draped on the chair was my first knitting project in bright blue soft alpaca wool. Spring has binoculars that belonged to my grand father who took me for walks in the woods beside an antique bird vase that my mother placed violets and pansies in during early April. Summer shows a beekeeper’s hat and gloves and jar of honey with the comb in honor of friends who keep bees and farm. Autumn has a borrowed Tiffany glass vase holding purple Vanda orchids, turquoise squash blossom necklace given to me by my husband’s mother. In summer when I got “stuck” I invited two luna moths to fly inside and perch on the window sill. I remember the wonder of finding one as a young child. Every year we grow morning glories on the Southwest side of our house. In this summer painting they finally managed to find their way inside.
Roots In Four Seasons
Roots series, Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn, each canvas is 48 x 36” © 2018.
On April 4, 2014, I attended a talk at Cooper Union, NYC, entitled Nature as Measure: What’s the Future of Farming? presented by The Land Institute and the Berry Center. I was so inspired by the work of Wes Jackson being done at The Land Institute and the poetic common sense of Wendell Berry that I painted what a Kansas meadow could look like with a fully developed perennial polyculture.
The work of the Land Institute in Kansas inspired this series of paintings. The institute is creating a new agriculture informed by nature. This system produces food while preserving biodiversity by creating perennial, polyculture food crops with twenty foot deep roots instead of merely two foot deep roots. This builds precious topsoil.
Life continues underground through all seasons. There are blessings scribed in the roots and woven throughout the seasons. Spring, Summer and Autumn contain eighteen honeybees. The number 18 signifies blessings and good fortune in many cultures. Earth from Kansas is blended into the brown umber paint surrounding the roots in each panel. Plants included in the Roots paintings are apple trees, bee balm, bind weed, black-eyed susan, clover, crocus, daffodilis, daisy, Echinacea, forget-me-not, hawthorne tree, hyacinth, iris, Kernza Wheat, lupine, milk weed, nettle, perennial sorghum, plantain, thistle, tulips, salvia, spiderwort, snowdrops, sunflowers, and yarrow.
In 2016 Hackensack University Medical Center, purchased Sunflower Meadow and Bee Garden by Maud Guilfoyle for their new emergency care wing.
Imagine walking through a field of meadow flowers, feeling the breeze and hearing birdsong in the midst of peace and quiet. The scent of flowers and grasses is subtle and sweet, and the blue sky a promise of leisure and contemplation. An imagined path through nature is soothing and healing, available when needed. Sunflowers at Old Hook Farm features sunflowers, thistle, snap-dragons, blue larkspur, nasturtiums, bee balm, a male and female cardinal, hummingbird, titmouse, eighteen honeybees, three white butterflies, and two Monarch butterflies.
Life can be a well tended garden, full of sweet smelling herbs, flowers and delights. Imagine a private garden, and step into this special place when seeking nurture and solace. This garden has roses, apple blossoms, sunflowers, irises, tigerlilies (New Jersey state flower), blossoms of a butterfly bush, nasturtiums, white flowering yarrow, echinacea, thistle, dandelion, flowering mint, bee balm, two Black Swallow butterflies (New Jersey state butterfly), three white butterflies, two Monarch butterflies, eighteen honey bees, a robin and a Baltimore Oriole.