Bathed is soft light, the expansiveness of the sea and sky in the painting on this week’s cover is felt like a gentle breeze. Titled “July Evening, Sag Harbor,” the impressionistic oil painting captures a distinctive scene overlooking the bay from the west side of Long Wharf. Painted in 2013 by Ramiro Sanchez, née Angel Ramiro, “July Evening, Sag Harbor” could have been made yesterday or two centuries ago (well, minus the yacht in the background). Currently with his family in Florence, Italy, Sanchez talks about his connection with the East End, his background as an artist and where we can see his work next.
Many of your landscapes have titles alluding to local spots, like “Shinnecock Moon” and “Noyak Creek,” when did your connection with the East End of Long Island begin and do you currently spend time here?
I first visited the East End of Long Island about 20 years ago when Laura Grenning from the Grenning Gallery invited me over to spend the summer. I fell in love with the place and have come back every summer ever since. Now I visit with my family, and while here I dedicate my work solely to landscape painting. The rest of the year you can find us in Florence.
What motivates you to paint?
When I am out here, I find myself painting all around the area, from bay to ocean, from dunes to the woods. I think that what keeps me inspired year after year is the gorgeous light of the East End.
When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?
When I was in my teens back in my hometown of Maracaibo, Venezuela. I had the opportunity to come across a group of realist artists that were working on murals for churches and public buildings. I started my apprenticeship with them and have since dedicated all my life to art.
This cover, “July Evening, Sag Harbor,” captures the light and color or the harbor brilliantly—was it painted right there? Or do you get an idea and then work in your studio?
Sometimes I paint my large landscapes in my studio based on sketches, memory and invention. This particular picture, though, was painted on site, in the course of a few sittings under the Sag Harbor bridge next to the fishermen. It was a bit of a game for me to try to recognize some of the boats that would leave and return each evening to the harbor.
Who are the artists that you most admire?
When I think of landscape painting I always keep in mind the work of the Macchiaoli school. They were a late 19th century Tuscan group of painters that are referred today as the Italian impressionists. Also, I find that the internet has offered an endless source of inspiration. I have come across many contemporary realists artists that I find fascinating. Lately, for example, I’ve been admiring the work of young Russian realists on Facebook.
Where can we see your work next?
September for me is the beginning of a new year of work ahead. Especially after having my solo show at the Grenning Gallery this summer. It’s the time I return back to Italy full of inspiration and to blank canvases on the studio easels. I have been working on a project on human emotions called ‘Emozione Reale’ that is still in progress. Next show at is the Florence Academy of Art Alumni exhibit this fall at the Massey Foundation in Manhattan, opening Friday, September 12. After that, Grenning Gallery 2015!
For more on the Ramiro Sanchez, visit grenninggallery.com.