Madame Cezanne..the woman behind the artist and the artist behind French Impressionism

So rich and lush. this CezanneMadame Cezanne, Hortense Fiquet (1850-1922)

Paul Cezanne used his wife, Hortense, during a period of over 20 years, as his most patient and steadfast model.

The recent installation of many of Cezanne’s heretofore separated works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, notes that Cezanne preferred to paint subjects he knew well. Therefore, his wife and son were rendered over and over in the works mounted at the show, Madame Cezanne. In terms of his landscape art, he painted Mont Sainte-Victoire.

My daughter Sabrina, currently a Classics major at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO and I viewed the exhibition in New York last Saturday, January 3, 2015.

The World According to Gayle, The World According to, the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue. New York City, NY

As an art student, oil painter, and docent at the Greenwich Historical Society’s Bush-Holley House (regarded as the “Birthplace of American Impressionism”) I count Cezanne as the artist who most informs my outlook on painting. His emotion, angles, seeming disregard for perspective and devotion to his inner voice, gave me all the permission I needed at the age of 14 to paint with the palette I chose, the brushstrokes that somehow emanated from my arms, and the size (usually large) to paint. Thank you, Cezanne.

In the show Cezanne was quoted like this,” (I) perceive form in terms of color relationships.”

What this does for an artist is to allow one to use the oil paint to build up and define the 3rd dimension for the viewer to project an interpretation of space, temperature, atmosphere, and perspective. Students of color and physics learn that colors are not static; rather the light can add and subtract from the colors by their relationships to one another.

I wish to also thank my former husband, David, who talked his way into Cezanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence on my behalf, some years ago. The studio was to close at 5 p.m. and we arrived there at precisely 5 minutes until 5. Let’s just say I had the pleasure of taking in Cezanne’s extremely neat and orderly studio.

An enlightening infrared/X-ray of Cezanne’s process on “Madame Cezanne in the Conservatory” showed that Cezanne did, indeed draw in his underpainting, seeking definition of the form and dimension of his wife’s figure and forearms.

Cezanne, Madame Cezanne, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York City,

Cezanne’s Painting process in Madame Cezanne in the Conservatory

This series of paintings depicting Hortense in a certain red dress were all together for the first time since they were created in the studio.

3 of the 4 Cezanne Red Dresses togetherThree of the four “Red Dress” paintings of Madame Cezanne, together again from all parts of the globe since being separated from Cezanne’s studio.


The juxtaposition of cool and warm colors of the palette, plus the definitive lines and curves against each other create an exciting composition.

The juxtaposition of cool and warm colors of the palette, plus the definitive lines and curves against each other create an exciting composition.

Innovation…Our greatest asset


Gayle Piersol, Intellectual Property, The World According to Gayle, Christopher Dodd, MPAA

Gayle Piersol at the Global Intellectual Property Summit in Washington, DC, November 18, 2014 held at the United States Chamber of Commerce

Intellectual property is big business…for the US economy IP supports at least 40 million jobs and contributes more than $5 TRILLION dollars to, or about 34.8 per cent of US GDP. This is according to an April 11, 2012 report by the U.S. Commerce Department.

In future articles I will write about what I learned from what many of the panelists discussed during my time at the Global Intellectual Property Summit in Washington, DC.  Speakers including former Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, now Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Motion Picture Association of America had much to say about why and how the United States needs to protect its IP from grand scale and global theft.

Gayle lining up a put

Gayle Piersol lining up a put with the specially weighted “Happy Putter.”

I test out the “Happy Putter” at the Global Intellectual Property Summit in Washington, D. C. hosted by  the United States Chamber of Commerce. Golf pros have been using specially weighted putters for years, and now amateurs can custom weight their putters for more accuracy.

CEO of Brainstorm Golf Vikash Sanyal has started other successful companies and he held his own when he shared the stage with fellow golf manufacturer (albeit on a much greater scale) and Executive VP of Acushnet, (maker of Footjoy shoes and Titleist golf balls and clubs,) Joseph Nauman.

Dt. Susan Friedman, Foundation for Wellness Professionals, Health Source Rye Brook, Chiropractor, Degenerative disc disease, subluxation, neuropathy, Neurologic Relief Centers Technique, Headaches, TMJ, disc herniation, sciatica, back pain, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, stress function, fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia relief, New York Chiropractic Councilt

Stephanie Carcano of Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY and Dr. Susan Friedman of the Foundation for Wellness Professionals, November 19, 2014

Professors and administrators at the annual benefits fair held on the campus at Manhattanville College were a little less stressed when selecting insurance plans because Dr. Susan Friedman of the Foundation for Wellness Professionals and a massage therapist were on hand conducting Wellness Surveys and giving tension relieving massages.

Stephanie Carcano invited over 18 of her fellow professionals; Economics and Music History Professors, as well as a Graduate School administrators among others, in the Ballroom at Reid Castle, an historic castle with an illustrious past. Today, with its lovely chapel and interiors, it is a popular venue for weddings and other gatherings.

Dr. Susan Friedman, Chiropractor,

Reid Castle, where Dr. Susan Friedman held a Wellness Day at Reid Castle at Manhattanville College

Common complaints revealed on the surveys were not surprising; headaches, back pain, tension and stress were all on the list.  However, Dr. Friedman has the ability to treat other ailments not usually associated with chiropractic care.

Dr. Susan Friedman sees patients that have diabetic neuropathy, subluxation, adrenal gland problems, plantar fasciitis, and spinal fusion issues. Her practice uses state of the art techniques such as the Neurologic Relief Centers Technique and the  DRX9000 tm can relieve herniated and degenerated discs.

The Foundation for Wellness Professionals is an association of volunteer professional healthcare and motivational and keynote speakers who perform Wellness Days, do spinal screenings and deliver educational workshops at no charge in their communities. Dr. Friedman has been a member of the FWP for about 20 years.



Garden Bounty is a Gift

Gardens Gayle Digs, Organic Gardening, The World According to Gayle, Gayle Piersol

The garden harvest here at the 1878 farmhouse on Talbot Lane is beginning to arrive

I am having just as much fun with my garden plot here in the somewhat “urban” area of Greenwich, CT known as “Byram,” as I did with my largish land holding in the Hamptons hamlet of Amagansett, L.I.

Even though this house was built in 1878 (and has four different cobbled stone foundations to prove it) and is a true farm house, I have little in terms of acreage.

Yet, the southern exposure and rich soil are extremely productive.  I wouldn’t call myself a “Doomsday Prepper” by any means, but I am SO looking forward to canning and freezing my Roma tomatoes.

Ball Jars, David Letterman, Ball State University, Gayle Piersol likes to can

These jars are from Muncie, Indiana, home of Ball State University and David Letterman, an alum of same and will preserve the sunshine and vitamins contained in the tomatoes inside them

Recently I did some “sun drying” of this variety, best known for being optimal in sauces, in the oven at a super low temperature for a long period of hours.  Drying tomatoes like this makes them sweeter and juicer, almost like a tomato “raisin” and I look forward to enjoying these preserves on those cold nights looming ahead.

There are those that are predicting  a “Polar Vortex” for those of us here in the Northeast….this September!

Peaceful Pond Painting Progress

Gayle Piersol artist, paintings by Gayle Piersol, artwork by Gayle Piersol, The World According to Gayle

A little bit more work on this painting. I am adding more oil “washes” in the foreground and some highlights to suggest the sunlight that was dappling in the grass.

Chalk paint covers a lot of sins

Gayle Piersol, The World According to gayle

I am taking this heavy, carved mirror (I think it’s oak) and giving it a new look, using chalk paint.

I recently discovered “chalk paint.” At first I thought it referred to the black pigmented paint that was used for actual school chalkboards.  Upon further investigation, I learned that some commercial producers make chalk paint in light and lovely colors.

As an artist and erstwhile home fixer-upper, I had an abundance of partially filled latex paints in my basement.  What to do?

Thankfully, the answer became clear…..While perusing the internet, I found some recipes for chalk paint.  I “cheated” using only one of two ingredients required, and I got the desired results. I simply thinned the sort of whitish, grayish (think Restoration Hardware palette) latex with water and added some Plaster of Paris. I would assert that the Plaster of Paris is really the pivotal ingredient to add the “tooth” to the paint mixture.

Gayle Piersol, The World According to Gayle, Gayle Piersol artist,

The chalk paint is taking this lovely old mirror into the 21st century

You will notice that I am using a commercial chalk paint in the photo above. It was just too convenient, staring me in the face in the aisle at Michael’s.  For this small experiment, it will serve.

Another embellished purse for your viewing pleasure

Hand embellished, Gayle Piersol, Gayle's Good Things, Etsy website, Gayle Piersol, artist

I embellished an existing new rattan purse with vintage elements I search for.

I took a nice enough “store bought” rattan handbag with nice bamboo handles and lovingly hand sewed bits of pearls, fabric, vintage jewelry and buttons (heavy with crystal) onto vintage lace. In my studio in Greenwich, CT I have a vast storehouse of treasures; tiny toys, fabric, feathers, fur bits, lace and scads of buttons!


Gayle Piersol, Gayle Piersol creativity, The World According to Gayle, Gayle's Good Things on Etsy

The back has a totally different look…

More “little surprises!” I always hand wash each trinket; be they buttons, broken up vintage jewelry, and fabric is always hand laundered.

I will bring two other bags (in hot pink and aqua) to the famed Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in upstate Connecticut.  These bags are also featured on my Etsy website.

When I paint, I just GO with it.

Gayle Piersol, The World According to Gayle, Artwork by Gayle, Artwork by Gayle Piersol

The first “broad brush” effort on an oil painting that commemorates a tranquil pond in Westport, CT.

I actually started a very skeletal drawing with a light wash on this canvas two years ago.  These added washes and vertical lines will begin to indicate my attempt to define shapes, light and foliage when I am looking at a myriad of greens.

I lay in bright splashes of pink, maroon and blues with the idea that these colors will show through from the underpainting.