Tim Saternow (and Rigby)


“I paint a moment with light and shadow, and a calmness begins.”

Tim Saternow is an American painter whose watercolor paintings explore the lost and forgotten areas on the edges of the urban scene. His work encompasses the old High Line train trestles above the gritty industrial streets of New York City, the empty homesteads of Joshua Tree, California, and the dignified and genial old houses of Provincetown, on Cape Cod. Tim pays tribute to the silent histories of these places and of the lives and love of the people who lived there.

Saternow’s newest series, House Portrait/City Portrait, are paintings of specific homes in Greenwich Village, NYC, and Provincetown, Mass.

Says Saternow, “These old buildings speak to me about the longevity and power of families.   And nothing is more personalized than having a painting of the houses we love.   These houses has stories to tell.” 

Saternow, trained as a set designer in theater and art director in film, has always used his design sensibilities to make environments that tell stories of the characters.   Not only is it important to ‘set the scene,’ but his designs also help to tell about the emotional lives of the individuals themselves.

Saternow paints large architectural landscape watercolors with a thick use of watercolor paint, playing with the tension between the illusions of depth, carefully drawn linear perspective, and an obvious play on the surface of the paper through watermarks, paint runs, blooms and spatters.   

Saternow is particularly sensitive to the emotive power of light, especially the distinct light of fall and winter creating deep shadows while playing across the faces of the old brick townhouses in New York and the clapboard of Cape Cod.

Tim Saternow was awarded the 2019 Fellowship with The Clark Hulings Fund Art-Business Accelerator.