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September 20, 2006

William Low Exhibit in the Memorial Gallery

The memorial gallery in Nathan Hale Hall will feature an exhibition of original oil paintings and children's book works by William Low , a Huntington resident who teaches at FIT. His exhibit opened Tuesday, September 19, 2006 and closes on November 3, 2006. Art students and enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet the artist on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 from 4:30-7:30 pm at a closing reception at the gallery.

William has built a successful career as a commercial illustrator and painter over the last 25 years. In that time he has won numerous awards including four Silver medals from the Society of Illustrators, and has written and illus­trated several children's books, including Lily , by Abigail Thomas (a Parent's Choice Honor Award winner in 1994). His work has been featured in Print Magazine , the Adobe Photoshop Wow! Book , by Linnea Dayton and Paul Davis and The Illustrator in America 1860-2000 by Walt Reed. His latest books include Chinatown (which he also wrote), The Days of Summer by Eve Bunting, Henry and the Kite Dragon by Bruce Edward Hall, The Day the Stones Walked , by T.A. Barron and Old Penn Station , which will arrive in bookstores in June 2007.

He is currently the principal in Cobalt Illustration Studios, a full service studio that produc­es illustrations for children's books and ad agencies, gallery paintings and fine art quality prints. In addition, L . L. Bean is featuring William Low's painting on their Fall 2005 Catalog .

Artist's Statement

The paintings for the show, William Low: Paintings and Picture Books are a cross section of my children's book art and my fine art paintings. The contrasts between the two are interesting because they are examples of the different kinds of challenges, which I have faced in the picture making process.

The fine art paintings can be subdivided into two more categories: work created on location and studio paintings. The on location plein aire paintings: Cape Cod Beach House, Wellfleet Marsh, Low Tide, High Tide and Barrier Island , were painted on location. The thrill and spontaneity of the brush stroke is evident as I fight the elements to capture the shifting tide or the changing sun. Each painting was created in one sitting, about 2-3 hours. Lloyd Neck Marsh required 3 visits.

The studio paintings were done under a more controlled environment using photo reference. While the pieces are not as spontaneous as the plein aire paintings, the studio paintings focus on color, lighting, composition and emotion. I love the challenge of complex scenes like August and Duffy Square . the more chaotic, the better. Crowd scenes like Dinosaur BBQ are fun because I am trying to capture the feeling of the heat and energy of a popular Syracuse biker bar.

The children's books are an extension of the studio work, with the added restrictions of the printed word, the page layout and the pacing of the book. The illustrations pose a different set of problems because I needed to think beyond the individual paintings to create works that fit in the collective whole of a 32 page children's book. Despite this limitation, I still feel that each illustration needs to hold up as an individual work of art.

All of the paintings are different, yet they hold up well as a single body of work. I personally like the differences between the approaches to the individual paintings. In their way they were all created with sincerity and integrity.