Through January, the Geary Gallery of Darien will present "By Land and By Sea," featuring the landscapes, seascapes and portraits of Fairfield painter Karl Soderlund.

Also featured during the month is "Essence of a Painting," the work of the late New York artist Michael Lowenbein, who died in 2009.

Karl Soderlund

Soderlund is well known for his portraits, seascapes and landscapes. Even as a child, he had an innate sense of color and composition. Soderlund began painting at an early age, inspired by everyday images that made growing up in New York and Connecticut memorable to him.

Later, he put aside his paintbrush to attend Denison University, where he majored in economics. Soon after being transferred to New York, he left the corporate world to focus solely on his true calling.

He furthered his education at the Art Students League in New York City, Yale University and the Silvermine Guild in New Canaan. He has also studied with realist painter Daniel E. Greene, and teaches at the Rowayton Arts Center in Norwalk.

His work is hanging in more than 250 public and private collections, including Interpublic Companies, Merrill Lynch, PepsiCo and the Heisman Trophy portrait collection. His paintings have been shown in the finest galleries, as well as featured on television, in magazines and newspapers.

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In 2002, Soderlund led the introduction of the Heisman Trophy Awards on national television by painting that year's winner. And in 2010, he had his first solo exhibit at the National Arts Club in New York featuring his series "Iconic Obsessions."

Michael Lowenbein

Lowenbein was born in 1935 in New York and learned to paint at the age of 10 by copying the work of Old Masters. After graduating from the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, he went on to Pratt Institute, earning a bachelor of arts degree in fine arts.

The Army sent him to Paris, where he ran the command photo lab. While there, the people and scenes of Paris became subject matter for his paintings.

Through most of his life, Lowenbein combined his painting with a career in commercial art. His work as an illustrator appeared on the covers of Reader's Digest and other magazines. He spent four years studying portrait painting with artist Clifford Jackson.

Later in life, he concentrated on his painting, accepting commissions and exhibiting in galleries and shows. Working primarily with oils, his favorite subjects were people, adults and children, and their pets. However, he was also adept in capturing the mood and character of the sea and land.

Lowenbein's son, Adam, also an artist, said of his father, "Michael painted the people, places and things he lived. He painted only what he believed was essential in a picture."

Admission to the gallery is free. Geary Gallery, 576 Boston Post Road, Darien, is open Wednesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call 203-655-6633 or visit