A native of Center Moriches, Tricia Feiler became fascinated with art at an early age. She initially copied illustrations, made by her uncle, which appeared in books written by her father, Chester G. Osborne, a composer and music instructor. Feiler herself was a music teacher in Eastport and Southold Public Schools for more than 30 years. Feiler’s art studio is in Mattituck, but she travels across both forks to paint perfect landscapes and beach scenes. Feiler’s “Colors from the Air” series is currently on display at the Gallery at Castello di Borghese Vineyard in Cutchogue.
Tell us about your cover piece “Catch the Wave.”
From under my beach umbrella I watched a group of friends race into the water just as a huge wave was rolling in. There was so much action when they scrambled for the best spot to catch that wave. It was like a whole movie in an instant! I hope my painting brings the viewer right there to feel the salty air, pounding waves, the salt spray and even hear the swimmers calling out to each other.
What is your preferred medium, if any?
Oil paints have a wonderful, painterly way of responding on the brush and canvas, but because I travel and prefer to paint outside, I have been working in acrylics. There are lots of new, interesting mediums that can make the paint respond in different ways. It’s also easy to clean up: just soap and water.
You were a music teacher for many years; how does that influence your approach to art?
I feel there is a powerful music/art connection. Both appeal to the emotions and senses. There’s also a meditative quality to actual painting and interpreting music. I hear music all the time, actually. It’s always beneath the surface. And I hear music as colors. In the classroom, I was in the middle of a ton of energy from students and the creative part was exciting in planning lessons, concerts and shows. The painting process is a quiet, singular experience. Very different from the classroom.
What do you find fascinating about East End landscapes?
I’m fascinated with how different the North and South Forks are. The South Fork air is cooler and you can smell the ocean. The North Fork can even be ahead by weeks in the changing of the seasons. And the farmlands have different hues, too. I notice differences in the water, sky and clouds as well. It’s a constantly changing palette.
What’s your favorite spot to go to on the East End?
I love to paint at Cupsogue Beach [in Westhampton Beach]. If you stand on the boardwalk, you can see for miles in every direction. Walking up and over the dune at the end of the west end parking lot is breathtaking.
What’s one piece of advice you’ve received that has helped shape your art?
“Use more paint,” –Pepsi Freund, teacher at East End Arts. She was right about not being timid when I was applying paint. Robert Armetta, Long Island Academy of Fine Art founder, saw me layering in highlights on a landscape and said, “Just bang it in there.” It was a confidence thing. That was important for me—not being afraid to make a mistake. My paintings are very colorful now, so that was great advice from two fine artists.
Tell us about your show at Borghese Vineyard.
I’m thrilled to be showing at the Gallery at Castello di Borghese Vineyard in Cutchogue. East End Arts, Giovanni Borghese, along with John McLane and Eileen McGuire are the sponsors. The space is huge, light and airy. I have 39 pieces in acrylic, oil and also a number of mono prints. I did lots of painting this past winter when I was traveling in the Southwest, so along with East End images, there are rock formations, deserts and dramatic Texas skies. I’m looking forward to setting up my easel right among the vines at Borghese in our “Paint the Vines” series throughout the summer and early fall. The show runs through October 1.
See more of Tricia Feiler’s art at her studio in the Donald Feiler Architect Building, 11725 Main Road, Mattituck or on her website, patriciafeiler.artspan.com.