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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Studio Visit: Terrance DePietro and Nicole Lemelin

A view of the studio shared by Terrance DePietro and Nicole Lemelin
photo by TDP
A unique pleasure comes from visiting artists in their studios, as it is a privilege to step inside the process of a creative mind and get below the surface of the work itself. So, a few weeks ago, I took advantage of an opportunity to hang out with Terrance DePietro and Nicole Lemelin (and a few other guests) at their shared work/live space in rural Palenville, N.Y., and it proved to be time very well spent.

DePietro: Intuitions Rising from the Crevice of The Clove
oil on canvas
DePietro and Lemelin joined forces a few years ago, while he was long established in Palenville and she was still living in her native Montreal, and they now have integrated their lives and art practice in a surprisingly seamless way. I had seen very little of either artist’s work before this foray to the Catskills, so I spent hours just taking it all in, punctuated by interludes of conversation and Niki and Terry’s kind hospitality.

Lemelin: In Luna's Womb - oil on canvas
These two mid-life painters share sensibilities so close that at first I had a little trouble telling their work apart (and that includes the vast majority of the work that was created before they even knew each other). But there are discernible differences (of course), even though the two are consistently driving at the same ideas. And, by “driving,” I mean working in a very directed and persistent manner.

DePietro: A Leap of Faith - linocut
I’m sorry to say it’s often easy to take art for granted – we are blessed with so many talented artists in our midst today that there isn’t enough space to show them all or time to see them all. Yet a studio visit will typically reveal a level of commitment that would rival that of any Fortune 500 CEO – with none of the rewards, by the way. It’s always impressive to me.

Lemelin: Presage of Transformation - watercolor and ink
DePietro and Lemelin exemplify this single-minded pursuit as well as anyone I have seen. The fact that, in their case, the pursuit has now become double-minded just adds to the potency of the message. And that message is – what? I see a bright thread of humanism and spirituality in everything the two of them produce, whether it is representational, purely abstract, surrealistic or expressionistic.

DePietro: Pristine Happiness of the Static Action of Art
digital monoprint
Some would quibble about a lack of consistency among these various modes – and here it is compounded by past and current involvement in many media by both artists, especially DePietro, who seems to do it all: Painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, digital. Lemelin also paints, draws, makes prints – and adds sculpture to the mix.

Lemelin: Bluemajic - oil on canvas
But there remains a clear vision within this vast, diverse output. And all the more clear because it is remarkably shared by two individuals. DePietro and Lemelin are visionaries who revel in their experience of humanity and nature. They delve, they experiment, they cull and refine. They work. The results are complex, not easily digested in a quick scan, and not easily explained. I see historical references, geology, dreams and nightmares here. I see joy and despair. I see struggle and triumph and the imperceptible march of time. I see nature reflected and refracted.

It’s powerful stuff – I’ll be going back.

DePietro: Above On and Below - photograph





4 comments:

Douglas Durning said...

Fantastic work! I miss you and your coverage of the art scenes that I am less able to root out.
It is nice to see you are back at it.
Douglas

david brickman said...

Thanks, Douglas - great to hear from you after all this time. Hope to see you soon

Marianne Rouette said...

Thanks for this article which have us discover the beautiful work of these two artists. Thanks for opening the door of their studio and letting us In

Robert Blake said...

What a GREAT idea!!! STUDIO VISITS.... Do more! Now I'm seeing something I can see nowhere else unless I had the privilege of a studio visit. 3 small recommendations: 1> Photo of the Artist(s).....always nice to put a face on the name and the Art.
2> Process ....maybe a little about the medium they work in and how it all "happens".
3> Environment...1 wide and/or Panoramic shot of where the Art is produced.

I think this is a fantastic idea...has legs and will prove itself to be swish 3 pointer from 1/2 court for you and the blog!