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Somers Library Features Watercolor Landscapes

SOMERS, N.Y. - Scott Sager , whose artwork is currently on display at the Somers Library , spends most of his time as an art director in New York City. But on weekends he hibernates in his Westchester studio with a palette of paints and a handful of brushes and “decompresses from the crazy advertising business.”

Sager works in watercolor, one of the most difficult art forms. “With watercolors there is no going back,” he explains. You can erase pencils, paint over oils and scrape off acrylic paint, but “with watercolor you need to commit. At least 25% of the time I get partway through and say to myself, ‘It just ain’t working,’ so I start over. It has to be fresh and vibrant. It can’t have an overworked feel to it.”

Most of his paintings are outdoor scenes based on photographs he has taken in his travels. He likes to hike, bike, ski and kayak in various locales from upper New York State into New England. Later on he examines his photos and decides what he wants to recreate.

“I like to try to keep what’s there,” he says. “If it’s a crummy foggy day in Portland, that’s okay because that’s the true spirit of the town. I want to capture the experience I’ve had. It’s usually the experience other people have had in the same place.” He likes to think people look at his paintings and remember what it was like.

“I usually work about an hour and a half on a painting and then walk away. I go in and out of it. I like to think about what I’m doing.” It takes two to three weeks to complete one painting.

There are about 18 watercolor paintings at the Somers Library show. The theme is “Back Roads,” meaning anything from a winding street in Marblehead, Massachusetts to a lake in the middle of Maine.

Sager grew up in Maine and studied art at Skidmore College and the School of Visual Arts. He was in the class of 1977 at Skidmore, only the third coed class in the history of the former women’s college. Dating was never a problem, he remembers. “The ratio was eight women to one man.”

Scott Sager ’s exhibit, “Back Roads,” will be on display at the Somers Library until the end of January.

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