“Rural Route, a view in Wading River,” may be typical of Carol Gold’s work, which she describes on as vibrant seascapes and landscapes rendered in oil on linen. She feels it’s also typical of the feeling her paintings evoke in viewers who tell her that they feel as though they could walk right into her scenes. The mailbox is an inviting compositional touch in an intensely sunny scene, trees so full and ripe that the leaves cast shadows on themselves.
Gold was a supervisor and assistant principal in New York City schools and taught art for 30 years. She has been painting since she was a child. Attending an Art Academic Program at Washington Irving High School, earned a B.S. in Art Education and a Master of Fine Arts at Pratt Institute and took additional painting studies at Queens College. She taught required art courses in Queens high schools and also started innovative beautification projects that served local neighborhoods and communities.
Eventually, she moved on to supervising a broad number of programs in the arts and humanities, including dance, music and foreign languages. Retired for a number of years now, she speaks with pride of both teaching and training teachers. She cites as particular influences Pratt teachers Philip Pearlstein, known primarily for his Modernist Realism nudes, and the painter Jacob Lawrence, who is regarded as a painter of dynamic cubism. Both enhanced her sense of composition, Pearlstein with his diagonals and unusual points of view and Lawrence with his bold colors and rhythm.
You paint and show in Florida as well as on Long Island. Are there distinguishing features you try to capture in each place?
Long Island locales differ from those in Florida and the Caribbean in coloration, especially in regard to water. Painting water is challenging because of its surfaces, transparency, color, reflection of light and motion. Florida is basically new, young and flat. The East End has distinctive large trees, hills and extraordinary light. That’s probably a maple in “Rural Route” but it’s the backlit effects I was going for. I do have wonderful light in Florida, though, and am president in Boynton Beach of an art group whose adult members gather weekly, for free, to do figure drawing, still lifes and to exhibit.
Do you paint en plein air and use photos?
While I have done plein air, my work is often too complex in composition, requiring weeks to execute. Usually I respond to what I see by envisioning a practically completed painting. I saw a boat while on a bus in Aruba, got off the bus, ran back along the beach and took a few snapshots. I tend to use my own photos in combination to document unique and fast-changing elements, the light, the wind. I want to create an ideal image of peace that’s also stirring and attractive, and I get that by painting on Belgian linen. I love the strength and smell of the linen, how it makes the paint richer. I’m not an impasto painter, by the way. I apply oil paint almost as if I were doing a watercolor. I mix my own medium and apply it in thin layers, building up.
Gold’s work can be seen at David Hersh’s restaurants Cowfish and Rumba in Hampton Bays. The Mattituck-Laurel Library is giving her a solo show next year. She welcomes visitors to her Long Island and Florida studios—email firstname.lastname@example.org for appointment.