The Greenwich Historical Society will present In Their Footsteps – Deborah Bonnell Paints Weir Farm at the Storehouse Gallery Museum Shop from February 1 through 28. The exhibition will feature works painted by Bonnell as a 2016 artist-in-residence at Weir Farm.
Bonnell first became interested in American Impressionism as a docent at Bush-Holley Historic Site, where she studied and lectured on Cos Cob art colony history. Artist J. Alden Weir painted in Cos Cob and later settled with his family at Weir Farm, in Branchville (Wilton) CT, his home for thirty-plus years. Now a National Historic Site, Weir Farm was a setting, like Cos Cob, that American Impressionists loved and painted frequently. Weir's circle of friends, noted American artists John Twachtman, Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent and Albert Pinkham Ryder, often visited and drew inspiration from the farm's bucolic vistas, many of which remain intact today.
Bonnell, as artist-in-residence in September 2016, was able to spend three weeks exploring the very same paths, meadows and woods that these prominent artists walked a century ago. Using oil on canvas, encaustic on panel, watercolor on paper and even iPad digital paintings, she captured her own impressions. Says Bonnell, "As a landscape painter, I was able to immerse myself, not only in the beauty of the place, but in being removed from our hectic, modern sense of time and to imagine what it must have been like there at the turn of the twentieth century. I have come full circle. By working on the same ground as these artists whom I have come to love, I have connected on even more levels."
Deborah Bonnell holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, has studied at the R&F Pigments Encaustic Workshop in Kingston, NY and has done various residencies at Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. She is a former resident of Greenwich and currently resides in Norwalk. Her work has been exhibited at shows and galleries in Connecticut, New York and Texas since 1985.
The Greenwich Historical Society is located on 39 Strickland Road in Cos Cob. The Gallery is open all year, Wed. - Sun. 12 - 4 p.m.