……and 720 miles later, I returned from the start of the autumn art season awash in the brilliant color of artists Joanne Mattera, Lisa Pressman and Karen Freedman.

I began my expedition on Saturday, September 8th at the opening of Joanne Mattera’s exhibition Chromatic Geometries, at Arden Gallery in Boston, MA.jm_1-BIG

I was drawn into this exhibition by it’s melodic color, geometry and order. As I approached the surface of the work, it was there I began to understand the poetic language of harmony and discord in the hue and texture. The sharp, straight edge shapes against the softly textured brush strokes became apparent when the light fell across them and revealed this elegant pairing in subtle layers. This discovery drew me the through the exhibition, going in and around the layers, through the play of light to explore the rich and sometimes unexpected chromatic architecture in each of Joanne’s encaustic paintings.

Rummu, 2011, encaustic on panel, 32 x 32″
From the left: Chromatic Geometry 1, 2013, encaustic on panel, 24 x 24”, Chromatic Geometry 2, 2013, encaustic on panel, 24 x 24”

Joanne Mattera’s exhibition, Chromatic Geometries will be up through September 30th at Arden Gallery, 129 Newbury Street, Boston, MA.

Sunday morning I headed south to Philadelphia PA for the opening of the of Lisa Pressman’s Inside Matters at The Rosenfeld Gallery.

Fossil,  oil, 24×24″

On exhibit were both large and small canvases. As I moved through the gallery I realized the dimensions were a mere physical attribute and I could see that every canvas was equally charged with a large complex history.  It became clear to me that the abstract imagery was a narrative that came from deep within the artist. The work pulled me in to investigate the secretive mark making, covered and revealed over and over until the story was told and the light seeped through the rich impasto skin.

The Bounty, oil, 24x24"
The Bounty, oil, 24×24″
The Deep 4, oil, 24x24"
The Deep 4, oil, 24×24″

Lisa Pressman’s exhibition, Inside Matters will be up through September 29th at The Rosenfeld Gallery, 113 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA.

By Sunday evening I was a bit tired from my trek south, but was soon revived by the lavish color and pattern that filled the studio of Karen Freedman in North Wales PA. The studio work space was a carefully considered visual feast of encaustic paint that was mixed, labeled and choreographed to delight the senses.

Freedman_5_Encaustic Workstation2 copy

Of course, the real treasures to be found in this studio were the paintings. Karen’s encaustic paintings drew me in and spun me around the magical mathematics of these improbable spaces that were cut and polished like a precious stone.

The four paintings in this composite photo are each encaustic on panel, 12 x 12. Clockwise from upper left corner Ruche 0352-2,  Ruche 0352-65,  Ruche 0352-64,  Ruche 0352-33
The four paintings in this composite photo are each encaustic on panel, 12 x 12. Clockwise from upper left corner Ruche 0352-2, Ruche 0352-65, Ruche 0352-64, Ruche 0352-33
Ruche Off 0505.51, encaustic on panel, 24 x 20, 2013

Karen Freedman has two exhibitions opening soon: Cerulean Arts Gallery · Studio, 1355 Ridge Avenue Philadelphia, PA, October 30 – November 23 and at the James Gallery, 413 South Main Street, Pittsburgh, PA.


  1. Thanks for posting and coming to the opening!!

  2. Thanks for this post. The references to mathematics and stone cutting gave me a chuckle since math was consistently my worst subject in school and as a jewelry major in college, I did do my fair share of lapidary work. History does seem to repeat itself!

  3. Reblogged this on Karen Freedman's Art and commented:
    Marybeth Rothman, a nationally represented artist from New Jersey, has included me in this wonderful post that also features Joanne Mattera and Lisa Pressman.