Summer is a short season that has a big impact. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the warm days are filled with fun, vacation, outdoor activities, spending time with friends and family. Especially in the Northeast, we wait a long time to enjoy the longer, sunny days. Soft colors and artwork can bring these warm feelings of the season indoors all year long. These artworks capture summer, from the subject, shells, seascapes, the beach to abstract interpretations of them. Color is a common thread when evoking summer, we associate soft sun-drenched colors with the warmest months. As I’ve written about before, the color blue is everyone’s favorite. There are many reasons, but when it’s soft, it feels like nature, like sky and water.
I stopped in to John Duckworth's Johns Island, SC studio a few months ago with some friends while we were visiting nearby. John artfully captures the colors of the SC coast in his collection of Abstract Landscapes.
Two very different installations of John's work show how the simple natural beauty of the photographic images is all that is needed to create a serene summer-like space. The images are printed on canvas, giving them a painterly quality. From a beach cottage on Sullivan's Island, SC with the image Charleston Harbor
to Long Island Creek in a crisp modern NYC apt by JSM Designs
According to color expert Kate Smith, of Sensational Color, "The color of ocean and sky, blue is perceived as a constant in our lives. As the collective color of the spirit, it invokes rest and can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming".
The texture and layers of encaustic wax in Artist Andrea Bonfils’ Ocean Blue capture the colors in the spectrum, from ocean to sky,
The large-scale color block painting by Kerri Rosenthal also ranges from light to powder to marine blue, creating a beautiful frame over the denim blue velvet bench
A client recently requested the “color of a summer sky” for an iconic Drippy Heart painting from Kerri Rosenthal. Here is Sea of Hearts installed in the traditional entry of her Westchester home. Kerri sent the color sample, on a late winter day with a note that felt hopeful for warmer weather, “the sky on a perfect summer day”!
Artist Rosenthal brings together her love of summer in a number of paintings inspired from her winter trips to the Caribbean or summer days by the CT or Long Island beaches. The colors in her abstracts bring them all together, as in Picking Daisies from the Puzzle Moderne series
Blue and and it's compliment white, in its many variations, is classic summer. The many shades of white are captured in a fun graphic collection of sand, by photographer Barbara Erdmann. Wings is one of a few images in the series that captures it's movement and texture.
Nature shows her color in the range of whites in Shelli Breidenbach’s Abstract Shell series. Shell No. 2 is one of six large-scale graphic images that show the incredible beauty of each shell form.
White can be simple and elegant and in artwork, it can carry a space when done well. This shell collection has brought summer indoors, for many clients, from city and suburb to beach to this striking yacht with an installation of very large-scale photos
Abstract artist Anne Raymond has created many paintings inspired by the sunny colors of summer and the surroundings of her Hamptons home. You can feel the warmth of the soft yellow in Radiance Series ll, a 40"x40" oil on canvas
Moving, also by Raymond is suitably accented with turquoise accessories for summer at Nest Inspired Home in Rye, NY
Westchester photographer Stefan Radtke captures the same colors in his "atmospheric landscapes" of the LI Sound. Radtke "creates painting inspired photographs of landscapes, devoid of detail." From the more colorful Moved # 6
to the quieter Sound Portrait #2 and it's mirrored image, mounted in acrylic. This diptych is 80"x40" overall and creates a strong statement for such subtle work.
I have recently met photographer Kit Kittle and I'm enjoying showing his Bubble Collection to my clients and observing their smiling responses. Kittle takes his machine around the world and captures the reflection in the bubbles, "which is a thousandth of the thickness of human hair". The images reflect the color & light in the bubbles as well as the natural beauty surrounding them. To Kittle, "it is surprising that some things are just this simple". This image, Before the Fall was taken close to home off the LI Sound.
The sun, warmth and colors of the summer season inspires artists, they want to capture it in their respective medium. Their artwork enables us to bring the soothing enveloping warm feelings of the season indoors…why not enjoy summer all year long?
But first, enjoy it now!