Hope Springs

Meredith d'Ambrosio

Meredith d’Ambrosio

At first, I noticed that the glass panes of the porch door were reflecting mauve and other tones in the aftermath of the sunset. It seemed I must be in Norway’s latitudes, though I was in fact studying my neighbor’s house in Eugene, Oregon.Meredith dAmbrosio

The Disappearing Land

By Meredith d’Ambrosio

Meredith d'AmbrosioDUXBURY Massachusetts—(Weekly Hubris)—4/6/2015—





“After Sunset, Late Spring,”  Watercolor, 23.5“ x 17.75“ (1987).

“After Sunset, Late Spring,” Watercolor, 23.5“ x 17.75“ (1987).

While painting this scene on location, after several hours of deep concentration, I realized that the sky was still bright at 11 p.m. At first, I noticed that the glass panes of the porch door were reflecting mauve and other tones in the aftermath of the sunset. It seemed I must be in Norway’s latitudes, though I was in fact studying my neighbor’s house in Eugene, Oregon. I turned to look at the sky behind me to make sure it was not my imagination. When I had first begun to paint, many hours earlier in the evening, my fascination was with the large black pansies and the sprawling light-blue lobelia with their yellow centers. To my surprise, painting this veranda shifted to a lesson in the seasonal light of the far north.

“Champsec,” Watercolor, 29.5“ x 21.25“ (2000).

“Champsec,” Watercolor, 29.5“ x 21.25“ (2000).

After leaving Versegeres, Switzerland to return to Verbier, my sister Elaine drove me and my husband, Haydn, back to her home. As we traveled along winding roads, we came around a bend in the small village of Champsec, and were met with this breathtaking scene where velvet, young, spring-green meadows swooped up into snowy alps touched by the hovering clouds. Needless to say, I vacated the car long enough to quickly sketch, then photograph the scene for reference. We were soon on our way downward and around again, then twisting and winding upward to return to Verbier, close to the clouds.

“Les Caves De Collias,” Watercolor, 21.5“ x 18“ (1988).

“Les Caves De Collias,” Watercolor, 21.5“ x 18“ (1988).

This was the first of four watercolors painted on location from the second story of the refurbished castle where I stayed for four days in Collias, France. Collias was originally a village in Greece circa 600 to 800 B.C. and was replicated by its Greek villagers, street by street, in 800 B.C. after they were shipwrecked off the coast of southern France. I strained my neck while painting this scene, looking to my left at the street below from the second-story window. Although it was not in my view, I could hear the Gard River rushing by. The owner of the castle, Olivier Leguillon, a filmmaker, produced a documentary titled Meredith Vs. the Arts which recorded my solo concert in Avignon and the creation of all four paintings in progress during my stay in Collias.

Note: Meredith d’Ambrosio’s exhibition of paintings entitled “Landscapes of the North Countries” will run from Sunday, November 15, 2015 through Sunday, February 14, 2016 at the Art Complex of Duxbury, Massachusetts, 189 Alden Street, Duxbury MA; daily opening times, 1 till 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday; Monday and Tuesday, closed. The opening reception will be held on Sunday, November 15, 2015, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.; Ms. d’Ambrosio will give a concert, accompanied by Chris Taylor on piano.

Meredith d'Ambrosio

About Meredith d'Ambrosio

Boston-born Meredith d’Ambrosio, a Renaissance woman whose creative work crosses many genres, has successfully combined careers in the musical and visual arts. In 1958, in Boston, d’Ambrosio began singing with small bands, accompanied by Roger Kellaway on piano. Although she has worked primarily as a jazz singer-pianist, she is also known internationally as a calligrapher, watercolorist, creator of eggshell mosaics, composer, lyricist, recording artist, and teacher. D’Ambrosio branched out into New York City in 1981 and, since then, has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, performing with such musicians as Harold Danko, Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, Fred Hersch, Eddie Higgins, Dick Hyman, Hank Jones, Lee Musiker, Mike Renzi, Richard Wyands, Milt Hinton, Major Holley, Jay Leonhart, Michael Moore, George Mraz, Rufus Reid, Leroy Vinnegar, Buddy DeFranco, Harry Allen, Lee Konitz, Ken Peplowski, Phil Woods, Jack Sheldon, Al Grey, Johnny Frigo, Gene Bertoncini, Kevin Eubanks, Joe Ascione, Terry Clarke, Keith Copeland, Jake Hanna, Butch Miles and Ben Riley (view d’Ambrosio’s complete discography at www.meredithdambrosio.com). Currently working primarily in oils on canvas, d’Ambrosio is preparing for a major solo exhibition, November 2015 through February 2016, at the Art Complex Museum of Duxbury, Massachusetts. “Landscapes Of The North Countries” will comprise oils on canvas and linen, as well as watercolors, and include scenes from France, Italy, Switzerland, North America, and Canada, as well as new oils of Duxbury, commissioned by the museum. D’Ambrosio’s paintings, both watercolors and oils, may be viewed through www.meredithdambrosio.com, her multifaceted website, which covers her work as a musician, painter, and writer.
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2 Responses to Hope Springs

  1. “After Sunset” has got to be one of my absolute favorites of Meredith’s work.
    She has captured the delicious way the light plays on the porch. The colors are so vibrant, even for an “after sunset” time frame. I can feel my self walking toward that stoop and sitting there in contemplation. Just beautiful!

  2. Dear Rebecca,
    Many thanks. Yes, there is something magical about the light and shadow-play of Oregon and its weather patterns. I was drawn to different places in Oregon, and in the five years I lived there, I could not resist painting many scenes. I also think this scene is one of my favorite watercolors.

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