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I return to my roots in upstate New York every summer to paint at a small Adirondack lake. I am enchanted by the exquisite flat-water times of day, early morning as dawn breaks through the mist, and luminous calm evenings—when the sun sets among the clouds in the water, and loon calls echo across the lake—when everything is seen twice: in solid and liquid form. My only conflict then is whether to paint or canoe, as those are the primo inspirational conditions for both activities! I paint from the experience of being in the water, on the water, next to the water, above the water. I am drawn to water and water draws me.

Marsha-Connell-Sky in the Water 2-oil-24x24"- 2007

Marsha-Connell-Sky in the Water 2-oil-24×24″

I was invited to demonstrate  “plein air” painting in the nearby Saratoga Springs, New York, ArtsFest at its inception five years ago. With my outdoor studio set up on the main street, I—painter of waterways, gardens, fields, mountains, trees—searched for the natural landscape. Looking up, I discovered the sky mirrored in Victorian windows, like a glassy morning lake, and, looking right in front of myself. . . the landscapes of storefronts, with reflections of the passing scene (even myself) in the windows.

Marsha-Connell-460 Broadway-oil- 24x18"-2007

Marsha-Connell-460 Broadway-oil- 24×18″

This was the catalyst for my painting series “Hats on Broadway”, reflecting Saratoga’s passions, and mine. Constructed like organic/cubist/painterly collages, these oils became a bridge for me between painting and collage, between landscape and still life, between interior and exterior, between dreamspace and literal space.

Marsha-Connell-Flag Day-Saratoga Springs-0il-20x16"-2007

Marsha-Connell-Flag Day-Saratoga Springs-0il-20×16″