This week’s cover of a North Fork vineyard shows that its artist, Gayle Tudisco, is certainly connected to the local environment. While Tudisco has only lived here full-time for the last eight years, there’s no other place she’d rather be. This particular painting suggests why, with its sublime light, background/foreground composition and barns in the distance. There’s also a narrative sense about the work, motivating the viewer to wonder what lies beyond the field. We are inspired to take a walk in the vineyard as well, to follow the horizon, to discover another world.
Your subjects are not only vineyards, but tell us about this image.
I did it last spring on the North Fork. I drive around with a camera and when I saw this place, I yelled, “Turn around. I have to get that.” I took the shot from the road.
What other subjects are you attracted to?
Marshes, water, light and barns.
How about favorite areas where you find your subjects?
There are beautiful marshes in the Springs at Girard Point and also on the way to Riverhead. Off Sound Avenue in that area, there are lovely marshes, too. There’s so much to paint, you can’t get enough of it.
What kind of feelings do you want to evoke in your viewers when they look at your paintings?
I want them to see that the image is soft and restful. People can sink into the painting.
When you first started painting in the late 1990s, did you paint on the spot? Were you a plein air painter?
Yes. When I started taking art lessons, we used a studio. I asked the teacher if we were going outside to paint. He said, “No.” After all, it was the wintertime. I like to work in the studio now. I don’t have to deal with a canvas falling over or insects.
Talk about changes, you used to live in Manhattan. How was it relocating here?
People can’t believe I made this transformation from Manhattan. I love it here.
What about the long journey you took before you settled here? What about your academic background?
I majored in Speech and Drama at Adelphi University, then I got my master’s at Hofstra University in Social Studies and Political Science. (I was always interested in politics.) I got a job in the East Meadow School District as a speech teacher until I went on maternity leave. I was a stay-at-home mom until I took a part-time job placing people in various disciplines.
Then you opened up your own business.
I started an executive recruiting company placing people who worked on Wall Street.
How did you go into art, of all things?
I started to paint as a release from the pressure of my job, but I always painted even as a little girl, drawing portraits of political figures.
I love painting.
Gayle Tudisco will be having an exhibit at Southampton’s Chrysalis Gallery (2 Main Street) on July 6, for two weeks. Call 631-287-1883 for information.