“Up Close and Personal” by William W. Winters
Renowned artist William W. Winters invites us to once again reflect upon the beauty of our historic valley with his upcoming exhibit, “Oil Paintings of the Rondout Valley Area, Up Close and Personal”. On display at Ellenville’s Gallery Link throughout the month of December, “Up Close and Personal” features many new works with images of the rolling hills, meadows, mountains and streams, the old farm houses, barns and picturesque views that still define the landscape that surrounds us, while putting us in touch with our valley’s history.
“My life and paintings are concentrated on what it was like in time past”, says Mr. Winter, a self-taught fine artist.He began painting in oils in 1954.His first exhibit was in 1963 at the Ellenville Dutch Reformed Church Art Show;he sold his first painting to DeWitt and Patricia Clinton of Ellenville.Since then, he has exhibited his paintings in numerous venues throughout our region, including shows at The Vanderbilt Mansion and Marist College.This is his first show at The Gallery Link since 2007, with paintings composed especially for this exhibition.
Over the years, Mr. Winters’ work has evolved from a purely representational realism to something softer and more interpretive.His valuing of our past is clearly demonstrated in both his desire to preserve it through art, and in his ability to evoke a feeling within the viewer that speaks of a time when life was less complex. He fears that a very special quality of life may be lost in the hurry and stress of contemporary times.
“I remember many everyday events in my childhood: chopping wood to keep a wood stove going, long walks to the water pump on a cold day in the winter… picking berries and dandelion greens with my Mom.I try to produce the same flavor of the past in my paintings.”
But it not only the past that Mr. Winters’ artwork is about:“We don’t often take the time to savor the daily joys of living.If we look back we may discover the peace and serenity of the good life.”It is more than a feeling of nostalgia one gets from his works, but a reminder to live with an abiding appreciation ofwe still have here in the Rondout Valley, and to cultivate that attitude in our daily lives.
In his own personal past, Mr. Winter was a Commercial Artist at Channel Master Corp. of Ellenville, NY for 22 years, and he then painted signs professionally.He first came to his (and our) beloved Rondout Valley when he was four, and he attendedschool in both Napanoch and Ellenville.His father was a supervisor at the Rondout Paper Mill in Napanoch.
Currently a retired Industrial Training Supervisor in Sign Manufacturing at the Eastern NY Correctional Facility, Mr. Winters is still very active in our community. He has also published“Years and the People: An Album of the Catskill Foothills”, which is available for reference in Terwilliger House Museum at Ellenville Public Library (the Museum is open year round on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 12noon-3:00pm, or by appointment).He has also written on Yama Farms.
“Oil Paintings of the Rondout Valley Area, Up Close and Personal” will be on exhibit at the Gallery Link from December 2ndthrough 30th. Please join him at an Artist’s Reception on Saturday, December 5, from 12noon-2pm (snow date: 12/12).