Front Porch Gallery, 210 Baker Ave.
At the Front Porch Gallery, on the screened-in, cozy front porch of Susan Siegel’s house, Siegel points to her own piece, Bird in Flight, an encaustic print of a flying crow and branches against a pale sky. She opened the gallery with her husband in 2009 and has owned the house behind it for 22 years.
“I love birds,” she says. “I don’t usually do encaustic, so this is new for me. I took this class at Castle Hill — I think it was called ‘Encaustic With Photography.’ They said to send a high-contrast image, black and white, and then they printed it on tissue paper. There were a bunch of crows in my backyard, and I took a lot of photos of them. We did the application of hot wax and the pigments, which you also melt. You don’t really know what you’re going to get with encaustic because you add the color and then heat it up and it runs. What I love about encaustic is it makes you feel like you’re looking through layers of glass.”
Cove Gallery, 15 Commercial St.
Barbara Sinisgalli, who comes to Wellfleet with her husband every summer, is thinking about buying Winter Shore by Mae Bertoni.
“We own two pieces by her already,” says Sinisgalli. “She’s a watercolorist. She’s phenomenal with her shimmer and shading and palette. She evokes a sense of being there and seeing it. She does seascapes but also winter scenes, which are more unusual. I like the play of the different shades of lavender and gray, and the shimmer and the light. You can’t tell if it’s sunrise or sunset. She’s very, very good with how she does her whites, which really come to life.”
Larry Biron, who owns the Cove Gallery with his wife, Liane, agrees. “She gets this really translucent effect, too,” he says. He points to the hazy bare-branched trees in the background of the piece: “What’s amazing about her is the way she suggests form.”
Sinisgalli nods and says, “She can do both. If you look at the rocks, you really do see the detail and the shape.”
Marrinan Gallery, 14 Commercial St.
At the Marrinan Gallery, Charlotte Mitchell and Mackenzie Tetreault from Millis, both eight years old, examine A Table for Two by Michael Marrinan.
“I like the detail,” says Charlotte. “It’s tipped like that but it looks super real and the food looks really real.”
Mackenzie steps forward. “I like the table because it’s decorated really pretty,” she says.
The table offers an assortment of delicacies: clams, mussels, oysters, and wine. “I don’t like any of that,” says Charlotte. The two girls point to the small round dinner rolls. “I would eat that,” they both say.
AMZehnder Gallery, 25 Bank St. #3
Ginger Kohn, a rising junior at Oberlin College, comes to Wellfleet in the summers with her family. At the AMZehnder Gallery, she feels drawn to Sagamore Escape by Suzette Macdonald Lebenzon.
“I love the array of colors and how vibrant they are, and the fact that even though they’re so disorienting, I feel calm within the world that she’s created,” says Kohn. “It seems like she’s playing a lot with perspective and how we perceive things.”
Like Lebenzon’s other pieces in the gallery, Sagamore Escape is a warped vision with roads that lead nowhere, reflections and realizations of moons, and strange spaces of open air.
“I feel like this one is slightly less packed than some of the others,” says Kohn. “There’s all this blue space, empty space, framing the sort of twisting ‘S’ shape. It emphasizes the bridge and the houses. I feel like it’s leading somewhere, starting at the bottom and going to the top. It comes to a point, with a drop-off. There’s an obvious human presence, but nobody’s in it.”
Celeste Fine Art Gallery, 75 Commercial St.
At the Celeste Fine Art Gallery, Jennifer Le Gallais loves Highland Light by Celeste Woodes Koper, who owns the gallery.
“I’ve been coming here for a long time, and I have another piece by Celeste,” she says. “This, for me, is different. The combination of color, the simplicity of it. … She was saying it’s Hopperesque, and, yes, I do see that. That’s something that is appealing to me. It’s not a beach scene, which I love, too, but it’s just different. I find it very interesting — the rustic nature of it, the lines on it. It makes me feel calm.”