Category Archives: Artists

The Photography of Joan Weiss Takes You Places

By Debbie Wells

I sometimes feel like I’m in a dream, where things are not what they seem but serve as clues to a deeper, more elusive truth. That truth is revealed to me more vividly through the camera lens than through the naked eye. I see textures, and layers, and the way objects interact in geometric patterns to form other creations. I see shadows and reflections and the blur of human motion, and sometimes an incongruous fusion of all these elements. What I see in the camera lens joins with the impressions stamped in my mind’s eye, informing the images that are printed and framed and seen here. In essence, I translate the real into the surreal. A world that I can dream in as well as live in.”                   – Joan Weiss


A Passion for Photography

Joan Weiss has experienced life in virtually every part of the New York Area: Born and bred in Brooklyn, moved to Manhattan after college, raised her family in Queens and is currently residing in Long Island. She holds every part of her life close to her heart, from her childhood summer memories in Coney Island to her visits to sites in New York City and even right in her own backyard in Jericho, Long Island. Throughout her life, she readily admits that photography was always a love of hers.

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Artful Connection: Larry Rivers and Uncle Herb

 larry rivers and uncle herb (susan merson)larry rivers and uncle herb (susan merson) bronx
Renowned artist Larry Rivers was born Yitzroch (Irving) Grossberg in the Bronx. He grew up on Mace Avenue. Before he studied at NYU and Julliard, he was in a band as a teenager. This photo was submitted by Artful Circle member Susan Merson, whose Uncle Herb Genis (on right, with Rivers) was in the band with Rivers when they were about 16 years old. What a wonderful artful connection!

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“The Palette Reveals the Artist” Lecture

“The Palette Reveals the Artist” Lecture with Alexander Katlan
Sunday, December 13th at 2pm
at the Art League of Long Island (107 East Deer Park Rd, Dix Hills, NY, 631-462-5400)

alex katlan at his desk
Esteemed art conservator Alex Katlan will present an informative art talk based on his book “The Palette Reveals the Artist: The Grumbacher Artist Palette Collection and the Salmagundi Club Palette Collection”.


The palette collection of the historic Salmagundi Club represents a piece of art history. Many well-known artists of the past 140 years such as William Merrit Chase and George Inness, Jr. have participated in the club tradition of leaving their palettes for display at the iconic brownstone in Greenwich Village.

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Artful Circle in the Hamptons: The Dan Flavin Art Institute

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by Debbie Wells

There are so many famous artists that have Long Island roots and it is always a treat to see them showcased in their hometowns. Everyone knows that artists such as Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner called the Hamptons home, but did you know that contemporary artist Dan Flavin (1933-1996) was a resident of Wainscott, a village nearby the resort town of Bridgehampton? The Dan Flavin Art Institute is a gem of a museum, located in the heart of the main street area and perfect for a delightful break from the usual Hamptons activities.

IMG_2506  IMG_2497(Above): On view at the museum

Dan Flavin: The Artist of Light

Born in New York City in 1933, he studied art history at the New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His first work with electric light was shown at the Judson Gallery in New York in 1961. He also exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the National Gallery of Canada in the 1960’s. Continue reading Artful Circle in the Hamptons: The Dan Flavin Art Institute


by Debbie Wells
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Ellen Hallie Schiff in her art studio in Glen Cove, Long Island

The Artist’s World

Upon entering the charming home of Ellen Hallie Schiff in Glen Cove, Long Island, you immediately know you are in an environment designed by an artist. There, she displays her own work, as well as paintings by fellow local artists and mentors, such as Christian White and Steve Lampasona. Also on view are framed pictures by artists she has met on her travels, including a printmaker in Cuba.

Behind her home is a converted garage filled with wonderful light and bright white walls. Her canvases are neatly piled everywhere in process of being organized for her next showing. Bits of materials, paints and supplies are stored throughout the space. Pinned on the walls are scraps of motivational articles and pictures. She has reference material and artist books on the ready for inspiration. Continue reading ARTIST SPOTLIGHT ON ELLEN HALLIE SCHIFF

At the Studio & Garden: Artist Roy Nicholson

by Debbie Wells

IMG_0011Meeting the Artist

The Long Island Rail Road is my choice mode of transportation when Manhattan is the destination of our Artful Circle gallery visits. My own personal travel experience begins at the popular Hicksville train station. Always bustling, it certainly would never be considered a place with particular visual appeal. However, there is one notable exception – a set of large mosaic murals flanking the seating area of the station’s lobby.

Whenever walking by, I make a point to gaze at the colorful tiles of the mosaic art. Although an abstract composition, its horizontal design alludes to a landscape. There are two murals, each with a different color scheme. Not knowing anything about them, I felt compelled to step close and imagine how they were created and the meaning behind the swirls of color and texture. It wasn’t until much later that I spotted the plaques identifying the artist and title of the works.

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Artful Circle Artist Spotlight: Max Ernst Greis

By Debbie Wells

When your parents name you Max Ernst Greis, it seems inevitable that you would choose a career in art. New York born and bred, he is a master of the art of collage and has invented a hybrid of techniques way beyond traditional cut and glued paper. From traditional painting to multi-media, he constructs scenes with architectural, industrial, military and natural imagery.


I met Max Greis this spring while on one of our Artful Circle classes. As Franklin was curating art gallery visits for our groups, he arranged for the artist to meet us at Pavel Zoubok Gallery in Chelsea to talk about his debut solo exhibition entitled Samsara.

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Art Exhibit at the Harness Racing Museum

by Franklin Hill Perrell

If you are traveling from New York City to points north, the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, Orange County, NY, is worth a visit. Presently, they are featuring an exhibition of works by American artist Lumen Martin Winter. Winter (1908-1982), an artist of considerable renown, during his lifetime, is presently the focus of renewed interest. His art flourished in the period following the WPA when he began his career as a muralist, later exhibiting paintings and drawings at an impressive array of museums and galleries.

LMW 7 LMW 10Lumen Martin Winter watercolors: Gift of Alexander Katlan in memory of Dr. Nathaniel R. & Lucille Katlan and Dr. Roberta Katlan Helfgott.

“The Spirit of the Horse” is the theme aptly chosen for this venue where a selection of Lumen Winter’s works (representing only one chapter of his oeuvre) exemplifies his verve of execution. In lively

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Five Facts about Peter Max – He’s Groovy!

by Debbie Wells

Internationally acclaimed American pop artist Peter Max, now 77, known for his iconic images that epitomize the culture of the 60’s, 70’s and even today. His colorful paintings and graphic style captured the essence of the times, but are timeless in its appeal. To fully understand his art, learning about the man himself is paramount. Here are five facts about Peter Max that you may not know.
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1. In 1938, Max’s parents fled Berlin his place of birth, to escape the Nazis and relocated to Shanghai, China where they lived in a Jewish community until 1948.

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2. He studied astronomy in Israel.

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3. Ever the artist-businessman, Max was featured on the cover of LIFE Magazine in 1969: “Peter Max-Portrait of the Artist as a Very Rich Man”

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4. Max was very involved in the restoration of the Statue of Liberty in 1976.

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5. Far beyond the canvas, even cruise ships have donned a Peter Max design!

If you are interested in learning more Peter Max, Artful Circle’s Debbie Wells has created an educational and entertaining lecture presentation about his life and work. For more information, visit and look in the Lectures section of the website.



Spirit of the Horse – Lumen Martin Winter

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by Alexander Katlan The Spirit of the Horse- Lumen Martin Winter (1908-1982) – Selected Horse Studies An Exhibition of artist Lumen Martin Winter (1906-1982) artworks at The Harness Racing Museum & Hall Of Fame 240 Main Street, Goshen New York Opening June 1, 2015 to May 31, 1916

Lumen Martin Winter (1908-1982) is an artist almost unknown today. The rediscovery of this artist is not as uncommon as one first thinks, with artists who have spent a large part of their careers as muralists. In this exhibition at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame Goshen, NY from June 1 2015 to May 31, 2015, The Spirit of the Horse, one sees drawings and watercolors that Lumen Winter created in Santa Fe New Mexico. Continue reading Spirit of the Horse – Lumen Martin Winter