Betsy Podlach – Flowers & Still-Lifes
Dec. 25, 2015
About the creation of her paintings
My images of women and men start by observing my own reflection in a mirror, a man I know modeling for me, or photos of women and or men from other eras. As I paint each image becomes a unique individual apart from myself, the photograph and outside observation. I search until they are captured and found experiencing their own moment, with their own history. Once individuals and couples come alive and compelling on the canvas I know how to work on and complete the painting. My still lives and landscapes are also the result of seeking to present an image that was born and exists outside of time. They are also a creation begun with observation and completed through the process of something new being found as the canvas develops and though my confidence of what is true beyond and beneath what I see directly.
Paintings about relationships created by form, space and light
Elizabeth (Betsy) Podlach received her BA in English literature and fiction writing at Harvard University, where she was a Watson Scholar. While studying painting at the New York School and International School of Art in Umbria, Italy, she received awards from the Charles H. Revson Foundation and the Seligman von Simpson Foundation as well as several private grants and commissions. Her paintings are about relationships created by form, space and light. Says Podlach, I work from direct observation, the beauty of objects in light, the anatomy or the landscape along with my unconscious. In doing so, I try to combine three-dimensional form and depth with the flat picture plane into a uniquely painted space. I work with color to create a light coming from within the picture, a stillness that reverberates. I use nature, formal principles, and my imagination to form a personal image.
Her painting technique includes using oil paint and egg tempera, which she makes herself. The tempera creates a physical layer of white between the layers of oil. Podlach’s contemporary interpretations of traditional still life painting are the combined influences of the Abstract Expressionist Movement of the 1950’s and Italian Renaissance art of the 15th century. Her work expresses a definite contrast between light and shadow while striving to find an internal light within the painting rather than a direct source of light from the outside.
Podlach, who lives and works in New York City, is currently represented by galleries in New York City, NY, Carmel, CA, Bridgehampton NY, Lakeville, CT and Nantucket. Her work is in private collections worldwide, including the collection of Princess Donatella Brorghese, in Rome, actor Christopher Walkin, in New York City, and ABC host George Stephanopolous in New York City. Corporate Collections include Pfizer, Inc., New York Universtiy, and a mural commission for the The City Wine and Cigar Company, all in New York City.
For some reason I thought of our discussion tonight. It is tiny bit difficult still I think with language, but that can be a good thing too, allowing someone to explain in greater debt and visa versa.
In learning, whatever leads a student to discover something infinite and rich is a valuable lesson. I was taught, or came away with a premise or two I used, at least for a while, that “abstraction” meant something very particular.
Abstract and abstraction was a profound and important thing and had nothing to do with whether a painting was “of” something or not. That is, Leonardo Da Vinci was very abstract, tremendously, at least as much as Kline or Kandinsky (who may have been less so, being sort of a particular case), Bacon would be NOT abstract, Vermeer very very abstract indeed, hence my bringing up Titian or one could say Uccello or whatever. So Pollock had more to do with Titian than Pollock had to do with Kandinsky or Marc, though this may be splitting hairs.
In this premise was a lot of richness, otherwise the premise is useless sort of as it is only a way of understanding similarities and differences and the profundity of abstraction.
On another level too, was that the most abstract and important thing in painting physically (sort of) was the abstraction of space and light and what was created in the process of abstracting space and abstracting light. Each artist created something original and unique in this process of creating and abstracting. Hence the space of Cezanne is different than THE SPACE of Morandi, and one would say a lot followed for Cezanne in his process of creating this unique space. Each made his own space and light – Matisse, Kandinsky, etc.
Then, there is the even more important thing, the thing no one can explain, which all this explaining is only a way of helping one find or seek.
Betsy Podlach, 2013
The New York Studio school NYC, NY
Nardin Fine Arts, Somers, NY
Nardin Galleries, Cross River, NY
The (X)Gallery, Nantucket, MA
CN&B, Munich, Germany
Gallery Yellow, Cross River, NY
Hubert Gallery, 1046 Madison, NYC,NY
American Art Galery, Carmel, CA
Art Cabinet Nantucket, MA