A small sample of the abstract watercolors (painted during the night) and landscape paintings (painted during the day) created during my summer at the Chautauqua Institution can be found below:
During the summer of 2010 I spent seven weeks at the Chautauqua School of Art, located in the historic community known as the Chautauqua Institution. Upon arrival, I was immersed in a completely unfamiliar environment surrounded by unfamiliar faces. It was unsettling yet inspiring, so without much hesitation I threw myself into my work. Immediately drawn to the beautiful landscape, I found myself spending countless hours painting outside. Painting was familiar to me in this strange and wonderful place.
I, along with thirty-five other students, was assigned a small studio space. Each space had three walls, a table, and usually a window. This space became my home for seven weeks. I woke up and painted, took painting class, ate lunch, painted more, had dinner, and painted until bed. I have never been so happily immersed in my work. For me, it resulted in a summer of unimaginable exploration.
When I returned to school in the Fall of 2010, I displayed the the work created in my first solo show "Day and Night at Chautauqa; Work by Hilary Zelson." The art in this show reflected the two major focuses of my paintings during the summer, both landscape paintings and abstract paintings. In Chautauqua, like most places, the day was filled with light and the night meant darkness. For this reason, I created my landscape paintings during the day, and my abstract paintings during the night. Working on both styles filled my mind with all kinds of ideas to bounce of one another.
Although both styles are unique, I hope my flow of ideas and personality runs through all the paintings. I ask that as you look at each painting individually you remember the environment in which they were created. Whether it’s a landscape painting, more directly inspired by my surroundings, or an abstract painting that was indirectly inspired by environment, each piece was created as part of the whole. Everything I do and paint is reflected in my work. Without spending my summer at the Chautauqua School of Art, this part of my journey as an artist would be missing. Each piece of work I create continues to make me the artist I will become.