Alix Hallman Travis

Alix Hallman Travis began her art training at the Cleveland Institute of Art, followed by study at the Arts Students League, New York. While at the League she was awarded the Art Students League/Fantasy Fountain Fund Merit Award, to study in Paris, France at the Paris American Institute, July, 2007.

Travis often paints in watercolor, exhibiting locally and nationally. She coordinates the East Branch Delaware River Plein Air Painters, a loose association of professionals and amateurs who express their appreciation of the Catskill landscape by painting outside together all summer long. She is a signature member of the New York Plein Air Painters, the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society and a charter member of The Longyear Gallery, Margaretville, NY. She is the owner and director of the Commons Gallery, Margaretville, NY.

She resides in the mountains of NY where she teaches and maintains a studio. She feels that she needn’t travel much beyond her front door for subject matter. Many of her recent paintings may be viewed on her website: and she writes a blog at


Catskill Mountain Life

In my series of oil paintings, “Catskill Mountain Life”, I join the two painting approaches, plein air landscape painting and figure sketches to depict a colorful and spirited reflection of place.

From painting outside I have developed a thorough knowledge of this physical place, its vernacular architecture nestled into the old, rounded mountains and along the kills, all touched by the seasons. Many years of observation were required before I also recognized the social pattern I was seeing within the physical place. From my observations and interactions with neighbors and friends I have become attuned to our shared communal life.

On the canvas the application of paint mirrors the undulating lines of the low mountains, rounded and carpeted with vegetation. High key colors are applied with palette knife, often leaving areas of bare canvas. There is often a focus on the figure--these persons could be anyone in the community. Each setting though not realistic, depicts a familiar scene and is obviously set in a mountainous, a Catskill Mountains, terrain.

When the paintings are peopled my emphasis is on the figure, not the face. In fact my figures have few or no facial features, just the front, back or side of a head. The activity speaks for itself, the figure’s reaction is expressed in the attitude it assumes—intense concentration; no smiles, frowns, or tears are needed. It is all there in the lift of the head, the slump of the shoulders, the speed of the feet, the outreaching of the hand.

These paintings in oil on canvas could not have come into being without my plein air work in watercolor and the volumes of figure sketches made over the years. The two bodies of work, plein air watercolors and the ink figure sketches, are joined in “Catskill Life” to depict a fanciful and spirited reflection of place.

Parade “Parade”

Parade, Catskill Mountain Life, no. 6
Oil on canvas
48x36 in.

The Feast “The Feast”

The Feast, Catskill Mountain Life, no. 8
Oil on canvas
52x44 in.

The Funeral “The Funeral”

The Funeral, Catskill Mountain Life, no. 9
Oil on canvas
37x50 in.

Fireworks “Fireworks”

Fireworks, Catskill Mountain Life, no. 7
Oil on canvas with lights
35x48 in.

Swimming Hole “Swimming Hole”

Swimming Hole, Catskill Mountain Life, no. 2
Oil on canvas
52x37 in.

Village, July “Village, July”

Village, July, Catskill Mountain Life, no. 13
Oil on canvas
46x38 in.

Good Neighbors “Good Neighbors”

Good Neighbors, Catskill Mountain Life, no. 14
Oil on canvas
30x30 in.

Finale “Finale”

Finale, Catskill Mountain Life, no. 12
Oil on canvas