At gallery openings up-Island Sunday evening, striking landscapes dominated the works. Some were familiar, others almost hallucinatory.

“I painted a few more boats this year, and also some fantasies and things,” Allen Whiting said, standing in his front yard as visitors explored his art-filled farm house.

Mr. Whiting said he pushed himself to include people in the work this year, employing a hunched captain in a passing boat, a farmer cutting hay in his sweeping oil paintings.

“I’m always drawn to pure landscapes because I like to be by myself,” Mr. Whiting said.

Allen Whiting has a long history of hosting a reception at his home and studio in West Tisbury. — Jeanna Shepard

Fortunately, Mr. Whiting doesn’t mind company either because throngs flocked to his farm for the opening. It was the 49th year he has held a reception at the start of summer, and the 39th year he welcomed guests into his West Tisbury home to show them his paintings.

“I suspect I’ll go for 50,” he said.

Up the road a short way, at Kara Taylor’s Chilmark gallery, her new show is untitled but painter Skip Petersen supplied several adjectives while standing in front of a large mixed media piece: heroic, powerful, lyrical.

“I just love her work,” Mr. Petersen said.

Ms. Taylor created the new pieces during the off-season while living in Cape Town and debuted them Sunday evening. The larger works churn with movement and pattern. Women wearing long shawls battle the wind in a fecund, dreamlike landscape.

“There’s a fine line of fact and fiction in these,” Ms. Taylor said.

Indeed, the boundaries between real and not real are vague, as are the distinctions between the media used in the paintings. Ms. Taylor incorporated photographs, African fabrics, European lace and oils to create the large scale collages.

In a series of smaller pieces in the show, Ms. Taylor depicts South Africa’s white sand dunes, punctuated by vertical posts.

“They’re in contrast but related,” Ms. Taylor said of the two scenes. “In the tension of the fabric, the shifting of the sand.”

Artist Kara Taylor (far right) and friends at her gallery reception on Sunday. — Jeanna Shepard

At the nearby Field Gallery, admirers crowded around work by Islander Rachael Cassiani and Los Angeles based artist Tommy May. Ms. Cassiani is largely self-taught and began selling her work at Island flea markets. Her paintings convert familiar Vineyard landscapes into energetic object lessons where monochromatic shapes dominate.

Mr. May, by contrast, showed fervently colorful works he divides into two categories: laths, like those that form the foundations of plaster walls, and blossoms. Mr. May studied photography and said he was inspired by summers spent working in galleries on the Vineyard.

The lath paintings focus on horizontal lines and vivid color. The blossom paintings are luminous and vibrating. Mr. May uses a diluted wash of color first and then drops more paint over the canvases on the floor. The paintings take on a life of their own, he said, hence the name.

“The paint kind of falls like rain does,” Mr. May said. “I’d come back into the studio the next morning and I just felt like they grew.”

More photos.