This sunny Sunday afternoon finds me on my first visit to The Left Bank Café in Saranac Lake for the opening of Provence en Plein Air which consists of Cris Winters watercolors and drawings from the South of France from her visit in 2000. I've meant to get to this particular cafe many times before and am sorry it has taken me this long.
But this is a great introduction to the eatery which already sports the French bistro atmosphere. With the walls filled with the soft hues of this artist's renderings from Provence, it now offers an immersion into the French countryside. And it is spring both inside and out.
The folks gathered here for the opening are all lovers of this style. In fact, before long, I witness the artist making a sale. I overhear the purchaser say, "You should be doubly honored. This is the first work of a local artist that I've purchased."
Cris Winters has her notebooks from her 2000 sojourn on display as well. I overhear another viewer say, "Even her notebooks are works of art." And so they are. They are beautiful photo/art daily journals of her incredible journey in Provence.
The first week of her Provence trip, Cris participated in a watercolor painting workshop with Diane Hoff-Rome in Var Province. She explains to me that traveling alone can be very rewarding and offered her more opportunity to further her work. She also explains that she had a cold while she was in France. This may have inhibited her sightseeing and museum-going experiences but it gave her more time to sit and sketch and paint. And everyone who is here today is glad that she had that opportunity.
When asked why this exhibit at this time in The Left Bank, Cris tells how much she loves this café and how convenient it has been to be right next door with The NorthWind Fine Arts Studio, a Co-operative Gallery in which Cris participates. Cris loves what Anne Sterling is doing at The Left Bank and when she talked with Anne about her trip and her work in Provence, it seemed a perfect blend and the shoulder season seemed like the right time to do it. The exhibit runs through May but it is just one setting of fine art that Saranac Lake has to offer.
Right next door, the NorthWind Gallery hosts ten local artists ranging from printmaker Larry Poole to landscape photographer Phil Gallos and, as mentioned above, more work from Cris Winters.
Just a short walk away is the Adirondack Artist Guild of Saranac Lake which is always brimming with fine art from local artists. At the moment, Sandra Hildreth's The Wild, Wild West exhibit is on display and will be through the end of the month. On May 16, the artist will give a gallery talk.
For information about more upcoming events in the Saranac Lake region click through to www.saranaclake.com
Kathleen Recchia has been enjoying the arts in the Adirondacks for about 20 years—both as observer and participant (acting, directing, and producing). She also enjoys cross-country skiing, swimming, juggling, and hosting visitors to the area at her bed & breakfast in Jay.