Angling Art: New Paintings of Legendary Streams by Galen Mercer

“Mid-Winter, Upper Beaverkill”
Oil on Canvas, 20″ x 26″
2021

Artist Galen Mercer lives along the Battenkill in West Arlington, Vermont. Canadian by birth, he’s the grandson of two painters and the son of another, so it’s kind of in his blood. He’s also a fanatical fly fisher. His new series of paintings of legendary Catskills waters continues his fascination with the changing light of seasons. Here’s how he describes the new works:

Reflecting a diversity of scale, light and season in the Catskill Mountains, these paintings are all from rivers I know well. “Mid-Winter, Upper Beaverkill” (above) and “Bright Water, Upper Beaverkill” depict the quiet headwaters of that famous stream, the pools being within a mile of one another. The river’s character there is almost quintessential eastern trout water. The winter view was a January day when temperatures never rose above 10F. The light was like a blush, a deceptively warm and transient glow the low angle of the sun causes. Entirely illusory. “A Bend on the Delaware” conveys that river in early spring, before the avalanche of greens that will soon follow. It’s a period I’m especially partial to–the budding foliage has a mustard-like tone, streaked with faint pinks and limes, if you look hard enough. You can still see the earth through the trees. The autumn painting was an attempt to convey the intensity of those hillsides, absorbing that preposterously rich, low light. The effect is kind of a Doppler to the January painting. I love the seasonal shoulders.    

Click here to see more work at Galen Mercer Studio Fine Art.

“Bright Water, Upper Beaverkill”
Oil on canvas, 20″ x 26″
2021
“A Bend on the Delaware”
Oil on Canvas, 24″ x 34″
2021
“Autumn on the Delaware”
Oil on Canvas, 23″ x 29″
2021

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