One of my favorite flowers is snow-in-summer. How about a flower called riot-of-color-in-winter? Alas, it’s not blooming outdoors in the Northeast during these grayish January days. But Westport, CT, based painter Leona Frank has brought the vivid colors of summer wildflowers she’s observed growing on Connecticut’s Thimble Islands to life in acrylic on canvas.
The Thimble Islands are a group of about 350 small islands in Long Island Sound, off the coast of Branford, about ten minutes from New Haven by sightseeing boat. Over the years, Leona and her husband, portrait photographer Richard Frank, have paid many visits these little-known islands, which can be explored by kayak.
“I’ve been focusing on the Outer Island’s insistent and vibrant wildflowers, the improbable bursts of color that emerge from undisciplined leaves and branches in the stark landscape,” says Leona. “Wildflowers celebrate the endurance and strength of nature and make an optimistic promise of new life.”
These paintings, as well as a number of Dick’s fine-art, black-and-white photographs, are on display in the windows of Max’s Art Supplies, 68 Post Road East, Westport, CT, through January 31.
More of Leona’s paintings and drawings, which are in many private and public collections, can be seen on leonafrank.com. And her blog about teaching art to children and adults is chalk-full of videos and detailed, illustrated instructions for intriguing art projects ranging from making monoprints to tissue-paper painting to drawing from observation.