Before the Masterpieces


An intriguing show of new works along with the sketches, studies and reference photos and notes created in preparation for the finished paintings. Studies can help an artist plan composition, color choices, light and perspective. More spontaneous than most finished works, studies can be dynamic, show the artist’s thought process and often differ greatly from the finally presented works. For instance, Michelangelo’s study for the Libyan Sibyl on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is based on a male model while the finished painting is of a woman. This exhibition gives the viewer a look at the work and experiments that lead to the art we see completed and framed.

Paul Batch

SaraJane Doberstein

"My first sketch, charcoal on paper, is from my photo reference images at Wellfleet bay of the oysters which will be my focal point. I can see here where some shapes and curves actually appear awkward and need to be altered for a more pleasing composition.
"The oil sketch for Afternoon Delight shows where the horizon line will be to allow for the amount of bay I'd like visible above the tops of the shells. I have slightly changed the shape of the left oyster, so my oil sketch adjusts where the light and highlights will hit it. I also add some of the glow and shine placement and basic color palette before moving to the final painting.” —SaraJane Doberstein

Jonathan Earle

"Perspective can be the most critical element when creating a city scene. Proper perspective creates the illusion of space and depth. However, if the perspective lines are off just a fragment, the eye immediately notifies the brain that something is wrong and it can ruin an otherwise technically sound piece. I often create a sketch to locate the vanishing points, to draw my perspective lines from. ”
"After the proper vanishing points to my perspective lines are located, I transfer them to a panel. Just like the buildings I am painting, they must have the proper foundation — the perspective lines are the foundation."
"It is less important to adhere to the perspective lines early in a painting, as long as the correct vanishing points are in place. I often check back with them, to make sure I am in range. As the buildings are constructed, the vanishing points become more and more important. Building up from the foundation of the painting, every significant stroke can not stray from its vanishing point or the painting can be lost."—Jonathan Earle

Maryalice Eizenberg

Philip Koch

Sharon McGauley

"For this landscape, I worked most everything out on the canvas after this simple sketch. I had a bunch of reference photos from an evening on the beach, and I rearranged the simple composition to fit in the square I wanted to paint. While I am sketching, I look at the colors and try to start with a trio of colors for the initial layer (a red, a blue and a yellow). In this case, Indanthrone blue and quinacridone red. I crossed out cadmium yellow because I didn’t need it on the first layer. The following layers add richness to the piece, and I add more colors at this point. I always write them down in case I ever have to go back into it, it would be easy to mix the colors again.” —Sharon McGauley

Jonathan McPhillips

David Mesite

“I knew my granddaughter Ava would be into it when I set her up as my model for this painting. She has a real interest in art and had fun dressing and posing for the look and feel I wanted to convey. The family rule is, if I use their faces in my art of course they keep the painting.”—David Mesite


Andrea Petitto

Paul Schulenburg

“On June 7th 2021 I was welcomed aboard the Maria Mendonza fishing vessel out of Sakonnet Point RI, departing at 6:00 am. Alan Wheeler is the former skipper, having passed the baton on to the current skipper- his daughter Corey Forrest. At 72 years old, Alan still works vigorously every day. This is a portrait of Alan in the wheelhouse while Corey was at the wheel. .”—Paul Schulenburg