When weather and time allow, Barbara Ernst Prey packs her paints, canvas and easel into the back of her car, hops behind the steering wheel and drives due east from her home in Oyster Bay — a ritual that transports her back to her childhood, riding shotgun next to her mother.
They would stop at beach after beach off Montauk Highway, setting up their materials side by side, taking in the ocean, umbrellas, chairs, lighthouses and people. And here, with the sun shining and salty breeze blowing, the young girl learned how to “look.”
In time, she chose to express what she saw through watercolors, drawn to its lightness and translucency — a medium notoriously precarious and unforgiving of even the smallest mistake. But, even further, she was one of the few women to enter a male-dominated tradition, and then push its bounds.Read More