The Geary Gallery of Darien presents Ridgefield resident Hans Fischer's "Great Escapes -- Paintings of the City, Land and Sea" and "Celebrate New England," with Judith Carbine's plein air paintings. These two exhibits run concurrently, April 1 through April 28 at the gallery, 576 Boston Post Road.

Fischer describes his approach to painting:

".... Capturing the shimmer of light on water, the patterns of light as you turn a corner on a crisp sunny morning. One side of the street so bright you squint, while the shadows are so deep you can't see into them. Just color and shape, light and dark."

He is known for exploring the blending of contemporary representational imagery with the abstract. His goal is to visually merge the best qualities of both styles by utilizing a mix of media, texture, color, and strong composition -- to capture the sense of a place through its light and color, rather than just "rendering" a specific location. He uses powerful brushwork, strong contrasts and bold color relationships to create complex organic textures.

Fischer works with encaustic, oil and acrylics, often combining them, to achieve unique, vibrant, translucent surfaces with strong graphic qualities that engage viewers.

Born in Holland and raised in Harrison, N.Y., Fischer has lived in Ridgefield for many years and maintains his studio there. After college, his early years as a "starving artist" were interrupted by the U.S. Army and the '60s.His painting career was further put on hold by corporate America, and a career in graphic design and art direction. In 1989 Fischer established his own graphic design company. But the love of art has always pulled hard and he has been able to concentrate, full time, on painting for most of the last decade.

Fischer studied art at Akademie voor Kunst in Eindhoven, Holland, and received his bachelor's degree in industrial design at the University of Bridgeport. He has furthered his studies at Silvermine Guild of Artists in New Canaan.

Another featured artist in April is Judith Carbine.

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Carbine, a self-taught artist, varies her palette with each location.

"Painting outdoors is an exciting and refreshing visual adventure. The challenge is to capture the splendor of nature with every painting," she said. "New England has some of the most magnificent landscapes in the country, and it's an endless source of inspiration for me."

Carbine was greatly influenced by French and American impressionism. Her artwork has been profiled in American Artist Magazine, and has been published in the books "The Zen of Creative Painting" and "Strengthen Your Paintings with Dynamic Composition."

For more than 20 years, Carbine has captured the grandeur of the New England landscape. The Vermont native will return to Geary Gallery to unveil a new series of engaging plein air oil paintings that celebrate the majesty of nature. The exhibit will showcase many of her trademark subjects, including Long Island sand dunes, Vermont snow scenes, inspirational gardens of Connecticut, and dramatic seascapes of the Eastern Seaboard.

"Judith is one of the area's most celebrated artists and many of her previous exhibits have completely sold out," Tom Geary, owner of the gallery, said. "She continues to receive widespread acclaim for beautifully blended colors and a notable talent for capturing the nuances of New England.

Carbine's exhibit will open with a reception on Saturday, March 31, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the gallery. The public is invited to meet the artist. Admission is free.

The gallery is open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 203-655-6633 or visit