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White Plains Painter to Show Work in Pound Ridge

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The “magic hour” just before sunset when golden light saturates her Battle Neighborhood always has fascinated White Plains artist Susan Stillman.

Dozens of paintings documenting the shifting light and shadows she examines from her window and routine walks are included in “The Color of Light Show,” debuting this Sunday.

“‘I’m excited. It’s all hung. All I have to do now is buy the wine and food,” Stillman said of the 21-piece show. “I’m very influenced by what I see around me every day. I love when the light hits things and the way it changes every second and the architecture and foliage -- that balance of hard and soft -- it keeps the neighborhood very interesting.”

The Gallery in the Park at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation will host an opening reception for “The Color of Light” exhibit from 2-4 p.m. Sunday. The landscapes will be display through June 3. The collection contains the spring house on Pound Ridge nestled in a field, birch trees aging through the seasons on the former Croton Aqueduct, shadows jutting across Battle Hill homes and scenes spun out of past “Local Color” series.

“They’re all from moments that I capture when I take walks. I take the same routes past the same scenes, but of course it’s always different. So I take a photo when I see stuff that inspires me,” she said of the 30-inch by 24-inch paintings.

Stillman , who studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brooklyn College, shifted from an illustration career and figure work to landscapes about 20 years ago. The Eastchester native moved to White Plains in 1988 and found herself entranced with the hilly terrain, bright houses, and the “timelessness” of unpeopled landscapes. While pregnant, Stillman started a home portrait business in 1989.

“I was already painting a lot of portraits, and I found that I really liked working with clients to get the angle and emphasis that they want,” she said. “Working in a studio is solitary. It’s nice to get out.”

Teaching at Parsons the New School for Design also keeps Stillman “plugged in the community at large.”

“I love, love, love teaching. I love talking about art work and the creative process,” she said of her 30 years at Parsons, where she used to teach figure drawing and now teachers 2-D design.

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