You’ve heard of the “Three Tenors”? Well, come to the Cornwall Library to meet and greet the “4 Pastelists” who will be on hand for an artists’ reception on December 1, from 3:30 to 5:30 highlighting the opening of a month-long exhibition of their work.
The artists—Cathy Cahill, Lily Norton, Judy Byrne, and Cathy Prager—all from the Newburgh area, have been painting together for several years and exhibiting their works separately—often winning individual honors and awards at various area art shows—as well as together under the title of “4 Pastelists.” Their work with pastels as a medium excites all of them. As Cathy Prager says, “I like putting my hands directly in the colors; it’s the most direct expression I can think of. You can literally see the fingerprint of the artist in the work.” Cathy Cahill finds painting with pastels to be “tactile, luminous, vivid, and forgiving.” Judy Byrne “loves the tactile feel of applying pastel to paper and board and then watching the colors build and the forms take shape. It’s my passion. There is nothing else like it.”
The primary focus of each of the artists is the landscape of the beautiful Hudson River Valley. Lily Norton says, “We live in a beautiful world and I want to paint it. I love the colors, the textures and the forms of the trees, the flowers, the streams and the birds.” Cathy Cahill, a native of Newburgh grew up admiring the “amazing beauty of the Hudson River and the mountains of the Highlands.” She loves “the play between light and shadow, the subtle and vivid reflections of color in water, the sun-rises and sun-sets.”
The four artists pursued different careers before becoming fascinated with pastel painting. Cathy Cahill was a high school math teacher, Cathy Prager has worked back stage on Broadway shows, Lily Norton was a VA Nurse, and Judy Byrne taught art in the Newburgh schools. But all four have concentrated their efforts at perfecting their artistic talents. As Lily Norton says, perhaps speaking for all four of these fine artists, “It is always my hope that someone will connect with one of my paintings and experience the same joy of the scene that made me want to paint it.”
The “4 Pastelists” exhibition will be on display in the Cornwall Library for the whole month of December and will be open to the public.