Jerry Schwabe is straightforward in describing what drives his art: he paints, sculpts and photographs what he finds beautiful.

In most cases, what he finds captivating are the natural places in The Hamptons. Looking around at the dozens of watercolors currently installed in a solo show at the Quogue Library Gallery, it's easy to find yourself taking a tour of the East End. Peter's Pond in East Hampton is a favorite. So are the waves lapping the shore at area beaches or adding visual energy to the bays and waterways.

"How can you live out here and not be awed by the beauty around you?" Schwabe said in an interview from his East Hampton studio. "It's nice to be able to capture it in some form or another."

One constant subject of his artistic attention is water, which can be found everywhere on the East End, whether in the ocean, fresh water and brackish ponds, and bays and creeks.

"I find the water to be an ever-changing subject for painting and photography," said Schwabe. "The light, colors, mood and vistas are always different. I don't really have a preference between ocean and pond views. Each has its own nature and attraction for me. In fact, I like switching between both, since this always keeps me engaged. The ocean probably gives me greater diversity and varying themes for realistic and abstract interpretations."

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"Wave 4" by Jerry Schwabe.

"Wave 4" by Jerry Schwabe.

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"Bay View 2" by Jerry Schwabe.

"Bay View 2" by Jerry Schwabe.

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The landscape itself is another favored subject for Jerry Schwabe's paintings. The changing moods of familiar locations keep Schwabe returning again and again to channel nature in paint.

"I am inspired the most from landscapes by the constantly changing scenes, the light, the colors, the moods, the moving sky, the variations that the seasons bring," said Schwabe. "I am never at a loss for inspiration. One has only to look to see something new, different and exciting."

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"Landscape 41" by Jerry Schwabe.

"Landscape 41" by Jerry Schwabe.

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"River Front Riverhead" by Jerry Schwabe.

"River Front Riverhead" by Jerry Schwabe.

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In his most recent paintings, abstraction is married to natural forms to create paintings that feel like dreamscapes. Adding soft abstraction to identifiable natural vistas casts an atmospheric sense to the works. This is most apparent in the exhibition of 48 paintings on view at the Quogue Library Gallery, where Schwabe's interest in water and land receives a full and thorough treatment in "Jerry Schwabe: Views of the East End - Real & Imagined."

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"Wetland" by Jerry Schwabe.

"Wetland" by Jerry Schwabe.

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"Reflection 1" by Jerry Schwabe.

"Reflection 1" by Jerry Schwabe.

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"Landscape 42" by Jerry Schwabe.

"Landscape 42" by Jerry Schwabe.

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Schwabe first began capturing East End landscapes in paintings, making works in both oil and watercolor, and then moved into photography as a secondary way to express his vision. Photography has always been an integral part of his art practice for painting and sculpture. Oftentimes, Schwabe used photos intended as visual notes for his interpretive paintings. Collectors began noticing the images and he started using photography as its own form of artistic expression.

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"Stormy Sea 5" by Jerry Schwabe.

"Stormy Sea 5" by Jerry Schwabe.

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"Wading" by Jerry Schwabe.

"Wading" by Jerry Schwabe.

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Some of Schwabe's photographs reveal a melding of his artistic present and his roots as an artist: figurative sculpture.

Attracted to art and art making while growing up, Schwabe entered into the art world as an adult after a challenge was issued by his mother to make a sculpture. Motivated to try his hand, Schwabe made his first figurative sculpture in cast bronze based on the published image of a ballet dancer.

Graceful with simple lines, Schwabe's first sculpture inspired by a ballerina or a model would not be his last. The methodology of using a photograph as the basis to create what he "could see" and then using his imagination to complete the artwork stuck with Schwabe. The sculpture "challenge" morphed into Schwabe's first expression of grace and beauty, which he has continued as an artist in multiple art mediums.

"My technique spans from a classical approach to the more dramatic, with variations in mood, formed in abstractions of color and shape," said Schwabe. "Painting, sculpture and photography have now each become an independent form of expression, but my work remains grounded in fundamentals, and my vision will always be drawn to all that is possible.”

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"Walking Woman" by Jerry Schwabe.

"Walking Woman" by Jerry Schwabe.

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"Torso 1" by Jerry Schwabe.

"Torso 1" by Jerry Schwabe.

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His background of creating figures also comes into play in Schwabe's equestrian paintings. No matter what the subject, the artist’s aim is the same: to create art that people enjoy seeing.

"It's nice to look at something you enjoy: it's as simple as that," said Schwabe.

Jerry Schwabe's art was recently the subject of a solo show at East End Arts's Rosalie Dimon Gallery on the North Fork. He has also exhibited at the Bridgehampton Historical Museum and the White Room Gallery, both in Bridgehampton, and other venues on the East End and New York City. Schwabe exhibits frequently at Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton, NY. His work will next be shown at Ashawagh Hall in the group show at Ashawagh Hall, "Spring into The Springs Art Show," held May 7 - 8, 2016. His exhibition "Jerry Schwabe: Views of the East End — Real & Imagined" continues through May 1, 2016 at the Quogue Library Gallery.

To see a selection of artwork by Jerry Schwabe, view our slideshow:

View Slideshow

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BASIC FACTS: Jerry Schwabe's art can be viewed at www.jerryschwabe.com. "Jerry Schwabe: Views of the East End - Real & Imagined" continues through May 1, 2016 at the Quogue Library Gallery, 90 Quogue Street, Quogue, NY 11959.

“Spring into The Springs Art Show” featuring the work of Jerry Schwabe, Christina Friscia, Brian Monahan, Mike Monahan, Richard Mothes & Erick Segura takes place on May 7 & 8, 2016 at Ashawagh Hall. An Opening Reception takes place on May 7, 2016 from 4 to 8 p.m. Ashawagh Hall is located at 780 Springs Fireplace Rd, East Hampton, NY 11937. www.ashawagh-hall.org.

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Copyright 2016 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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