Monroe artist shows stuff in Cranbury

Rossmoor woman has photos in pastel on display at Cranbury gallery.

By: Matthew Kirdahy
   MONROE — At dusk, the sun looks over Rossmoor in Monroe and finds resident Barbara Harding Seibert snapping a photograph of its red, orange and yellow sky.
   Ms. Seibert transferred the photo to paper using pastels and now it’s on display at the Gourgaud Gallery at Town Hall in Cranbury.
   "I saw the Rossmoor sunset as I walked along Old Nassau Road looking west," she said. "We have beautiful sunsets behind the golf course. Sometimes I’ll walk to a friend’s house, which is in another section of Rossmoor. I’ll take my camera. The sun sets quickly and its colors can change in just minutes. You would find it’s a very accurate depiction of the color on that night."
   "Rossmoor Sunset" and 25 other pastels by Ms. Seibert are on display until Jan. 29 at the gallery. All of the pieces are for sale. Her work is primarily of nature and plant life.
   Ms. Seibert has been involved in art since she graduated from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1952. She started out as a textile designer then made a living drawing greeting cards for different companies. She also used to paint, but when she and her husband moved to Rossmoor from New York, the house was smaller, so she had to save space. She stuck with pastels and works out of her home.
   Before putting pastel to paper, Ms. Seibert takes a photograph then transfers the image onto paper adding her creative flare.
   "I might take several photos and put them together as an arrangement and have it copied," she said. "Then I work from that."
   The product can be as simple as a group of tomatoes or as detailed as a panoramic view of Acadia National Park in Belfast, Maine.
   Each piece has a story.
   "Tulips From Ed" is a pastel drawing of yellow tulips in a tall vase placed on table.
   "Ed Abrams is a resident of Rossmoor," Ms. Seibert said. "We invited him for dinner for one night and he gave us the tulips. So that name is very appropriate."
   "Skillman View" is a pastel drawing that sticks out from the rest in the display.
   During a workshop in Skillman, Ms. Seibert visited the 1860 House. She took a picture looking out of a first-floor window.
   Tall evergreens shade the foreground close to the window. On the other side of the trees is an open field with a barn on its edge.
   "I felt that it needed warmth so I added the barn," Ms. Seibert said. "That’s my creative touch."
   The Gourgaud Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. and Sunday by appointment. The phone number for Town Hall is (609) 395-0900.