This week’s edition of Dan’s Papers North Fork is the first to feature cover artwork by a North Fork artist — multi-year winner of the annual Dan’s Best of the Best North Fork Artist contest Isabelle Haran-Leonardi.
Here, she discusses this cover’s North Fork inspirations, her Nova Constellatio Gallery (NCG) and more.
A Chat with Isabelle Haran-Leonardi
What inspired this painting, and which vineyard is featured in it?
This painting was inspired by Peconic Bay Vineyards as it looked several years ago before it was purchased by the Soloviev family. I love flowers and was attracted to the sight of the gorgeous Peace Roses planted at the end of each row of the grape vines. The colors of the deep purple grapes, the full green vines and peach-colored roses spoke to me of the abundance and beauty we enjoy here on the North Fork.
How did you decide upon the painting’s composition, colors and other design details?
Originally, I painted the barn in the background its true colors of tan and green. I loved the look of the red buildings just east of the view I was using for the painting. I decided to paint the barn in the painting a similar red to better show against the greens off the vines. I chose to imagine the early morning light I love for this piece. The sun coming from the east is lower in the mid September sky, making the sky appear a slightly darker intense blue. I chose to depict the vine untrimmed to further the theme of wild abundance.
What do you enjoy most about the painting process?
Those familiar with my work know I usually paint large scale from the point of view of someone who is small. I do this to remind myself to view the scene with the fresh eyes of a child.
What is one short-term or long-term artistic goal you’d like to achieve?
This year I would like to create several larger pieces that further the feeling of expansiveness and being immersed in the painting. I explored this idea on a group of large paintings for a show we had at NCG this spring called The Pleasure of Water. I hope these works will help the viewer appreciate the beauty we live with everyday and work to protect it.
What have you been painting lately, and what can visitors to Nova Constellatio Gallery expect to see this fall?
This fall, I have shifted my focus from my large water pieces to the vineyards and fields of the North Fork. Additionally, in response to many requests, I have continued to make portraits of the many fish my husband Bill catches throughout the season.
What is your favorite thing about the North Fork in the fall?
Autumn is my favorite season, and the North Fork delivers all the beauty and fun of the season. Everywhere farm stands are overflowing with the season’s bounty. The cooler weather and gorgeous skies are perfect for being outdoors. I love the colors of the pumpkins and late fall flowers. For me, its still warm enough to swim on a warm day, but cool enough to sit by a fire outdoors with a nice glass of wine. If the weather cooperates, the changing colors of the trees provide a glorious backdrop to these days.
Would you like to share any additional info?
All of my work can be seen in my working studio/gallery, Nova Constellatio Gallery, at 419 Main Street, Greenport and on my website, novaconstellatiogallery.com. We’re open Thursday to Sunday until late December, and are open most of the winter.