MADE ON ISLAND
Capturing the Essence of the Island
The Landscapes of Neva Goldstein
By Amelia Smith
Neva Goldstein’s paintings and drawings capture the Vineyard’s landscapes in soft strokes and saturated color. “On the Vineyard the space and the light just have a quality that is magical, and that’s what I try to capture; that and the intense colors,” Neva says. She began to paint as a child, but when she went to the Rhode Island School of Design she earned her degree in printmaking. “I did love printmaking when I was doing it,” she says. “With printmaking there are a lot of processes and a lot of rules, and I’m a much messier and more immediate kind of worker than that, so painting works better for me.”
She gravitates toward landscapes, and working in pastels and acrylics. “Pastels were my first love when it comes to landscape painting,” she says, “but pastels are much harder to transport, harder to keep intact once they’re on the paper, more expensive to frame, and more toxic.” For all of those reasons, she now does most of her work in acrylic, but her acrylics have a pastel-influenced style, and she returns to pastels from time to time because, she says, she still loves them the most.
The Vineyard and its landscapes became part of her life when her husband brought her here in the early 1980s. Over the decades, as she spent more and more time here, and although she returns to New York for visits, she makes her home year-round in Aquinnah now. There, Neva teaches yoga at the Aquinnah Town Hall in the summers and at her home studio in the winter, with paintings and yoga mats side-by-side. She enjoys being able to avoid the crowds all year round, and ventures out to find the landscapes that inspire her. “I might begin a painting outside and take pictures and finish it in my studio,” she says. “The light changes so much that I feel rushed. The light at the end of the day, we call it the golden hour. It’s the most magnificent. It’s the hardest to capture but it’s the most beautiful.”
“ Art has been something that I’ve been producing literally since I was a tiny little girl,” she says, “so I’m really happy to be in a place that inspires me and also in a place that appreciates my work.”