Thursday, September 23, 2021

Adirondack Waters Finally Flowing in New York City

anne at live streaming

More than a year ago, my painting exhibition, Live Streaming, was postponed due to the pandemic shutdown of New York City galleries. On September 7th those painted waterways finally started flowing in the city. Thirty-five paintings and drawings can now be seen at the Blue Mountain Gallery on 27th Street through October 2. What a relief to finally be able to share them. Although the Delta variant is making art-lovers more cautious and vaccinations are required to enter all galleries, the New York art scene is reviving. At the reception I am pictured (above) with “In Suspension,” which was featured in a previous Almanack article, Art in the Pandemic – Distraction, Solace and Direction.

Since a painting is basically a lot of artmarks on a flat surface, the sensation of live streaming has to come from manipulated rhythms, swooping lines and shapes coming in and out of focus and juxtaposition with things that are still. I have spent many years both enjoying and fretting over the process to create that energy and movement through illusionistic space. 

resting place hulls fallsAmong the works in the show is a painting from the Hulls Falls bridge in Keene NY. Rather than paint the dramatic drop off downstream where kayakers were practicing their plunges, I focused on the upstream view where a sculptural set of boulders causes the Ausable River to split and then rejoin before dispersing dramatically over a drop off. I chose an angle with the water rushing forward along diagonal lines and then opening up into overlying semicircular curves. I described the water around the carved boulders with small well-defined shapes and where the water rushed onward I used large brushwork that lost definition to suggest fast movement. The curves and rhythms at the bottom edge work to pull your eye back into the space and the movement is continuous. The stranded narrow tree trunk and the still pool provide marvelous contrasts to the frenzied movement of the water. After another storm, two months later, the trunk was gone.

That painting and nine more in the exhibition are part of a larger project called Follow the Water, in which I am exploring the extremely varied visual qualities of the Ausable River watershed. A year ago, I became aware of the work of the Ausable River Association to protect the streams and lakes. Through their documentation I began to understand where the water I had been painting was coming from and where it was headed – from Mt Marcy and the Ausable Lakes all the way to Lake Champlain. I am in the process of assembling a body of past and current work that will help people visualize the many tributaries of the watershed and how they have inspired my artwork on and off over the last 40 years.  The project is in the early stages of planning for exhibitions (virtual, actual, hybrid and in print) with the intention of drawing attention to the area and work being done by the river association. The current state of the project can be seen on my website

diggory ausable twistAnother section of the Ausable River, closer to the flume south of Wilmington, inspired “Ausable Twist” in which a large boulder redirects the water and is in turn carved by it.  In it my non-traditional approach includes fragments of photography added to a digital collage of a plein air painting and a large monochrome drawing of the scene. The Photoshop image was then printed on canvas on which I kept painting until the twisting of both land, sky and water worked together. Within the water, painted details and photographic details intertwine at first and then become all paint. Except for the sharp delineation of trees, very little appears to stand still.

While all of the works in the exhibition are inspired by my interest in the constantly shifting world around me, some are more peaceful, such as lakeside sunsets from camping trips or padding adventures.  For those who can’t visit the exhibition, the website for Blue Mountain Gallery includes a link to a video of the artworks, with closeup details of each piece.

The exhibition runs through Oct 2 at Blue Mountain Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, #200, New York, NY . Artist present on Saturdays.

Saturday Sept. 25 at 11 am, there will be a facebook live artist chat at the gallery, and you don’t have to be a facebook member.

List of images, in order of appearance: 

Anne Diggory at the reception for her exhibition 

“Resting Place, Hulls Falls” 18×24” acrylic on canvas  

“Ausable Twist” 36×60” mixed media  

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Anne Diggory

Since moving to Saratoga Springs in 1977, Anne Diggory has been inspired by the natural world of the Adirondacks as well as mountain landscapes encountered in her travels. She uses her artistic perspective to identify the Adirondack painting locations of artists working in past centuries and has helped several museums correct their catalogues and rename their paintings.

Her research concerning the painting location of John Frederick Kensett’s iconic “Lake George, 1869,” was recently published in the Metropolitan Museum Journal.

Additional information and images are available at diggory.com.




5 Responses

  1. Would love to see the exhibition somewhere in the Ausable River Watershed. The Lake Placid Center for the Arts or Keene Arts come to mind.

    • Anne Diggory Anne Diggory says:

      Lorraine, we’re just starting to explore options for exhibiting, maybe several shows in various areas, linking in the way that the watershed is linked. Since a good number of my earlier works are in private collections, part of it could be a virtual exhibition linked to maps. And we’re looking ahead to 2023 , partly to allow for more exploration next summer and to develop some funding sources.

  2. Tim Hubbard says:

    Anne – What a wonderful article and congratulations on finally getting to show your incredible art. I remember your article from May 2020 about the painting “In Suspension”. I was born in the north country (moved away in 8th grade) and followed my path to a career in the performing arts and your article reached out to me in a most meaningful way because you shared your process and evolution of this particular piece – as an artist I loved that! As a former professional dancer, I “find” movement in all art, from visual to musical. Your paintings are so rich in movement that no one can look at them and not feel the power they represent. I especially love how you describe your work and the various steps and techniques you use to accomplish your visual goals. I really love your mixed media painting “Ausable Twist” – I have a mixed media work by a North Carolina artist where she took a photo of a NC waterfalls and then literally extended the photo (printed on canvas) and let it “spill” over onto the frame – it is one of my favorites artworks that I own. I only wish I were close enough to get to see these paintings in person but I will definitely check out the gallery’s link to the video about your work.

    They say you can’t take the mountains and waters away from a north country person and that is true, but for someone who only visits rarely, your creations sure do help to fill the void – thank you for that…
    Tim Hubbard

    • Anne Diggory Anne Diggory says:

      Tim, thank you for looking so closely and for sharing my enthusiasm for the movement all around us. I love that you are a dancer and appreciate process. When in New York (headed there on the train) it’s always interesting to talk to people who are not familiar with the area but who appreciate the energy

  3. Lorraine Hubbard Pantaleo says:

    This a great article and although I live near NYC, I do not go in much anymore. I also
    get this Almanac as my brother, Tim, does. I always love to read what he thinks as he is 22 years younger than I. My days of acquiring art have ceased but I very much
    enjoy what ever I can access. Your paintings do have so much movement in them
    that I can just see and hear the water flowing. One of my neighbors does have a gallery in the city not far from where you will be exhibiting. I am still venturing up to the Adirondacks with our other brother whenever I can. Thank you for capturing
    the essence of that wonderful place.

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