Welcome to White Space Studio

Watercolors by Arlene Black Mollo:
Landscapes, seascapes and skyscapes

White Space Studio is a celebration of Arlene Black Mollo’s lifelong work as a highly accomplished watercolorist and educator. Prior to her death in 2019, she used watercolors as her medium to express herself through her work. While many artists find watercolors to be difficult, Arlene found this medium to be thrilling and exciting as it forced her to be clear and daring with her strokes and to use the white spaces as areas of greatest light. She often used “white spaces” — untouched areas of canvas — as a strong contrast that played against vibrant colors. Her white spaces became clouds in the ether, a crisp roof, a petal on a sumptuous flower. In Arlene’s own words, “I am consciously aware of my perceptions and my own way of looking and seeing — that is with utmost concentration — aware of the “white spaces” that I see. I am by nature both daring and confident. My watercolors are my own “white spaces.” For me, they are tangible realities that say, “I am alive. I am here. This is what I see; this is how I feel.”

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Arlene Black Mollo

The three watercolors above reflect Arlene’s use of this method. In Harbor Dance, she uses bold strokes in an uneven pattern to illustrate a sense of movement on the water; in Iona Vista, the reserved white space on the home, in which she lived for a week, captures the essence of the afternoon light. Finally, in Three Sails, Key West, Arlene’s evolution from realism to more abstract art becomes evident in this painting. She employs both daring strokes, vivid color, and white spaces to bring action to the scene. Being an artist was both Arlene’s career and her passion. She created many landscapes and images on location in England, Ireland, Scotland, France, and Italy and throughout the United States especially Cape Cod, Florida, and California.

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Watercolor Paintings by Arlene Black Mollo

Explore Watercolors by Arlene

Save the Date: Fall 2021 Exhibition at Zullo Gallery

Arlene was a visual artist, educator, and professional watercolorist. Arlene had become a highly accomplished watercolorist and lifelong educator, prior to her death in 2019. Married to the love of her life for more than fifty years, Arlene and Peter travelled frequently throughout the United States and Europe. Arlene always carried her paints, paper, sketch pads, and ever-ready camera to document her travels. She focused her paintings primarily on water, light, and air and enjoyed painting “en plein air.”  Their content often depicted ocean imagery of the Atlantic and Pacific shorelines as well as the shores of the Caribbean Sea. In addition, Arlene visited her ancestral homeland, Rathlin Island, located between Scotland and Ireland and painted her ancestral home and surrounding landscape.

Arlene loved light and color and was always very aware of the “white space” that she saw. In Arlene’s words, “White spaces are those of greatest light, where on my paper’s surface I have chosen to place no pigment at all. By holding back the pigment, I am allowing my images to ‘breathe’ and ‘open up’ on their own. I believe the white spaces help bring my ‘plein air’ experiences alive.”

Full of life and ever the adventurer, in the mid 1980s Arlene traveled alone to the Isle of Iona located among the Outer Hebrides on the West Coast of Scotland. There she walked, prayed, and painted daily. She breathed deeply and realized that her life was absolutely full, perfect and complete. In her notes she states that when she was invited to go to Iona for a week she, “needed to hear her husband say ‘Go; trust in the Lord.’ And he did! I realized that I had everything in the world I could ever hope for.”

From the shores and woodlands of New England and Cape Cod, along the Florida coast to the Keys and the Caribbean, on to the California coast and its lush vineyards, and from the North Sea to the Irish Sea, Arlene repeatedly used the land, sky, and sea as bountiful new and familiar stimulants for her work. She recorded her impressions of these subjects in hopes of bringing her joy and passion in life to the viewer.