This week’s cover features Patricia Feiler’s “Autumn Beach Walk.” In addition to pursuing her uniquely Impressionistic style of painting, Feiler’s career spans more than three decades as a music educator in the Eastport and Southold public schools. She is a frequent teaching artist at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center and an active member of the East End Arts Council. Feiler’s paintings are included in many private collections and her painting “SS Rendezvous and Race” won the Thomas Currie-Bell Award presented by the Southold Historical Society at the North Fork Annual Juried Art Exhibit. Here, the Mattituck resident lets us in on what’s behind her creative process.
What inspired “Autumn Beach Walk?”
I painted “Autumn Beach Walk” on location in Indian Island County Park, Aquebogue. It’s one of my favorite places and I’ve painted there every season. There’s so much to take in: the sky and clouds, the water, sand and trees. The wind changes everything in an instant. Here on the East End, we have autumn days that are as warm as summer and yet the beaches are so still and quiet. This was one of those days. I had to capture it so I would never forget.
What’s your creative process when starting a new piece?
If a setting or scene captures my imagination, I feel an urgency to paint right away. It can be something very fleeting, like the shadow cast on the side of a barn or morning mist that has settled on the vines. I grab the easel and paints and go out right away. Other times, I visit a spot over and over, observing and taking in everything about it; the light, the movement and colors of the clouds, the trees, and even the sounds and the smell of moisture in the air. It’s thrilling to the senses. I like to do small paintings as studies and expand to larger ones later. Sometimes the story ends with the little sketch because the moment is gone.
Being a Center Moriches native, how has the East End influenced your work?
Like Center Moriches, lots of East End towns are working communities, with families that have lived there for generations. The villages are surrounded by water and there are small creeks and little beaches at the end of almost every street. The connection to the land and sea is part of who I am. I can’t get enough of it and it shows in my art, I think.
You have come from a long line of artists. Your uncle drew illustrations for the books written by your father, Chester G. Osborne. Did you ever feel pressured to continue the family tradition?
Our family has generations of musicians and artists, including the political cartoonist, Thomas Nast. I’m one of five siblings and we all played two instruments, so there was a lot of music in the house. As a young man, my father played trumpet in the Boston Symphony under Arthur Fiedler and when we were growing up, he became a high school band director, wrote young people’s historical fiction novels, was a contributing editor for The Long Island Forum, and Curator of Manuscripts at The Manor of St. George in Mastic. He was continually creating. I think I have that gene.
My lifelong journey as a musician has had a powerful effect on my art. When I paint, I feel a familiar rhythm in the motion of the brush across the canvas. Certain music evokes in me a sense of line and color and even shapes, but I don’t listen to music at all when I paint.
Where can readers view your work?
Right now I have paintings in Cecily’s Love Lane Gallery in Mattituck, Phoebe and Belle in Cutchogue and Kropnik’s coffee shop in Orient. My studio is on the second floor of the Donald Feiler Architect Building on Main Road, Mattituck.
To see more, visit patriciafeiler.artspan.com.