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Ty Hodanish... The Artist Behind the Cover

by Doris Brandes

The paintings of Ty Hodanish represent his own highly-recognized style and unique palette. Typically, Ty credits his early painting instructor, Lois Griffel, of the Cape Cod School, with bringing his long-latent talent into force. Ty always felt a close connection with the arts but this experience represented one of those “life-affirming seminal moments,” that this artist has learned to appreciate.

Ty Hodanish has shown a remarkable curiosity to explore and develop his many talents. As a student at Seton Hall College, he interned for the Governor Hughes administration, where he was assigned to coordinate a tour through part of New Jersey for, then first lady, “Ladybird” Johnson. This was the first time he visited Lambertville, which became a factor later in his life when he moved there.

After college, he went on to teach as an adjunct professor of criminal justice and public policy in area colleges. But it was while on a vacation in Cape Cod that he fell in love with the refreshing approach to Impressionist painting. This experience represented one of those “seminal moments.” Armed with an artistic philosophy, Ty developed his own style and soon became involved teaching at Artworks in Trenton, New Jersey. With missionary zeal he shares the basic principals of color and light. He likes to quote the renowned educator, John Dewey, “Anything worth learning, is worth doing badly.” You can translate this thought as “learn through your mistakes!”

When Ty retired from his day job, it seemed like just the right time to further develop his painting style. He rented a small store in Sergeantsville, next door to the butcher shop. He used it as his studio but it also became a gallery. Then when Artsbridge vacated the Linseed Building at Prallsville Mills, it literally spoke to Ty, “Rent me!!” This then was the beginning of The Art Colony on Route 29, at Prallsville, Stockton. Committed to his philosophy of keeping impressionism alive and well, The Art Colony became a studio as well as teaching space. “I have the pleasure of bringing together the artists who want to learn techniques, develop a style and enjoy newly acquired talents into the world of accomplished artists who have the desire and abilities to teach,” Ty remarks with all sincerity.

The now active Art Colony is open weekends from noon until 6:00 p.m., or whenever classes are scheduled. In addition, one or two visiting or emerging artists can show their works on weekends.

Ty takes pleasure in helping beginners get their collections together and learn how to market their works. Currently there are four different disciplines being offered at the Art Colony; days and evenings. Hodanish is in love with teaching and his creative plan for sharing his experiences has taken on a form that fulfills a need. Students have achieved much success with his training and are considerably pleased with the other teachers and the opportunities to exhibit. Some classes take place outside the Linseed Studio on the extensive grounds, along the Delaware River and the canal. The grounds are rich with suitable subjects — and rich in artistic history! Here, and near Phillips’ Mill, across the river in New Hope, is where the original area impressionists worked their magic on canvas.

Ty does his own paintings on location ’en plein air’ and working in his personal studio in his home on Stoney Hill Road, New Hope, as well as in the extensive Prallsville Mills Art Colony studios. Ty loves to paint and it gives him great pleasure to sell his works to those who admire his impressionist style and personal sense of color.

“My feeling is that people like to collect the works of particular artists,” says Ty Hodanish. “They are buying ‘the artist’ which is why I keep my prices moderate. This is a good way of keeping my work more accessible — and gives me the pleasure of knowing that my paintings find good homes.”

His highly recognized impressionist style and use of soft color oil paintings can almost always be seen in area galleries and exhibitions. He also confided that he is thinking about painting in a larger format in the near future and is looking forward to visiting France and the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Visit Ty at

We can expect that Ty will keep on spreading his wings.

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