Today I visited the studio of my dear friend Dennis Sirrine. Dennis just opened the doors to his fabulous studio in the Velvet Mill in Stonington, CT. He has a long Curriculum Vitae which details a career replete with honorable mentions, gallery exhibitions, directorship positions and memberships to premier artists groups. His formal education in the arts started in the late 60s but when asked how long he has been painting, he gestures with his hand at waist height and says "since I was this tall." When I first met Dennis, his work was on display at the Maritime Art Gallery in Mystic, CT where I worked in the printshop and later as a gallery assistant. I always admired his craft and meticulous brushwork, something that I found painstaking and elusive in my own work. But Dennis held my attention because his work was more than the sea or boat or landscape that he was portraying. I always felt that there was emotion or feeling or a little bit of soul behind his serene depictions of marshes and beaches. As I walked through his gallery, I was immediately drawn to a wall full of abstracts hanging in a corner of the studio. These transitional pieces were recently completed and are, in Dennis' own words, paintings that "were a release of emotions" from his recent transformation and move to the Velvet Mill. He has opened up his soul and has painted it for all to see.
He has only occupied his space since March but is well situated. The studio is warm and inviting. He has a pleasant view of a small pond and bubbling fountain. The windows are open and allow in the salty smell of the ocean which is nearby. He welcomes people with open arms and says his goodbyes with hugs and a warm smile. His space is just perfect and is worth a look if you are interested in seeing a working space transformed by the spirit of creation and the passion of the artist. Congrats Dennis and may there be many more glimpses into that colorful soul of yours!
You can visit the Velvet Mill Studios and Dennis' space on July 9th during their Summer Open Studio Event.
Velvet Mill Studios / Dennis Sirrine
22 Bayview Avenue, Studio E
Stonington, CT 06378