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arts & leisure

‘En Plein Air’ at the Stray Cat

“Mt. Utsilyantha,” watercolor by Alix H. Travis
Contributed photo

September 25, 2013

BETHEL, NY — “En Plein Air” is the French term for painting in the open air, a tradition that goes back to the Barbizon School. It finds different interpretations in each of the three artists at the Stray Cat Gallery’s show that runs from Friday, September 27 to Wednesday, October 9, with an opening reception on Saturday, September 28 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Impressionism is alive and well in the work of Staats Fasoldt and Alix H. Travis. Fasoldt believes in simplification. He achieves a poignant grace in his watercolors through reduction of information. His paintings are interpretations of nature that stress spontaneity as a method. Travis, who splits her painting time between New Orleans and Halcottsville, works constantly in her sketch book from nature, then takes her sketches into the studio, creating large oil paintings from the activity she has witnessed. In her watercolors, Travis, like Fasoldt, paints quickly, with broad strokes and only passing attention to detail.

Marjorie Morrow’s studio, one side entirely made up of windows, looks out onto the Catskill landscape, bathed in an abundance of light. Coming to the Catskills after 25 years as an abstract painter in the city, she was drawn to the landscape. Over the years her work has evolved to be an observation and response, as opposed to a depiction of nature. Like Fasoldt and Travis, she likes to capture the essence of nature as quickly and spontaneously as possible.

The Stray Cat is located at 2037 Rte. 17B in Bethel. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 to 5 p.m. Visit or call 845/423-8850.