By Neal Rentz
Carmel resident Vivian Haberfeld is currently exhibiting her acrylic on canvas paintings in a show entitled “In Search of Tranquility” at Somerfields restaurant in Somers.
The exhibit title could also be used to describe how she became a professional artist.
“I was a Manhattanite for 30 years and I needed to escape the madness of Manhattan,” she said last week while providing a tour of her exhibit. She purchased a weekend home in Carmel about 17 years ago.
“I fell in love with the land,” she recalled. “I just felt a need to get closer to it.”
She started doing artwork by doodling one day and that developed into her passion for painting. “I said I’ve got to take this to another level,” Haberfeld explained. “I started studying. I was drawing for a year and then I started painting and I’ve been doing that now since 2005.”
She moved to Carmel full time and became a professional painter. Haberfeld said many of her paintings have been inspired by the nature of the local area. Some of her works have been based on the Croton Reservoir in Brewster and Lasdon Park and Muscoot Farm in Somers In addition, an out building silo on the Old Stone House property in Somers, which was originally owned by the owners of the Elephant Hotel in Somers, is featured in the exhibit.
Most of Haberfeld’s paintings are not photographic in nature. “A lot of things are just from my mind,” she said. “Most of it is memories of what I’ve seen.”
Haberfeld said her work has been inspired by the Hudson River School of painters and impressionist artists. “My favorites are Van Gough and Monet,” she said.
She said most of her paintings look different than most realistic style works. “It doesn’t look like everybody else’s,” she said. “I guess that’s a good thing. I take a place that I’ve seen and I make it my own.”
“Random luck” is how she created the exhibit for the restaurant, Haberfeld said. During a recent traffic jam on her way back to Carmel with her husband, Fred, Haberfeld decided to have dinner at Somerfields in June. She spoke to the owners and after subsequently seeking some of her works they agreed to let her display her work.
Twenty-five of Haberfeld’s paintings, which are available for purchase, are on display at the restaurant. “The theme of most of them is tranquility,” she said.
Somerfields is located in the Somerstown Shopping Center on routes 202 and 100.
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