Returning to painting for the first time in many years, the experience has seemed both a daunting and full out adventure. Working as a graphic designer and real estate broker allowed me to share in the support of my family for the last 30 years until I retired recently and found myself gifted with space and time. Painting mostly in oil, occasionally in watercolor, I started doing everything from landscapes (plein air) to still lifes and portraits. I have always been a draftsman taking life drawing classes for many years when I was recently invited by some newly made friends at a Featherstone’s Tom Maley life drawing class to join them exploring the world of painting en plein air on this magical island. Pulling out some very old tubes of oil paints from my days as a student painting major at Rhode Island School of Design in the late 60’s and with an ever a frugal mind, I was determined to use up these viable old paints before purchasing new ones. I am evolving in terms of style and subject with much to learn again about the medium itself. The most important challenges for me in this new adventure have been the acceptance of failure and a willingness to change and be open to revelation as I explore a new subject .
It has been most difficult for me to let go, not overwork, step back and let a piece sit for a while. The mistakes I think I am making often appear in the end to be what makes a painting work. Tending to lose myself in the process in many ways has turned out to be a good thing , both gratifying and for many reasons, restorative. I don’t believe that I have yet created an identifiable style as I am constantly trying something new, experimenting with colors, new subjects, exploring different techniques, or reviewing and digesting the works of some of my favorite artists including Manet, John Singer Sargent , Winslow Homer, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud , Felix Vallotton, Fairfield Porter and one of my favorite current Maine painters, Connie Hayes. I am inspired by their abandoned but skillful and lively use of brushwork and their unexpected use of color and light to create a mood or an emotion. It has been suggested that my work reflects my love of color and drawing, but my hope is that what I start to achieve in a painting is a way to reach beyond my own perspective to enlighten another person’s discovery of the beauty and fragility of this planet and especially that of this unique island. I’ve rarely shown my work publicly, mostly gifting to friends and family (safe critics) and have just recently been encouraged to show my work. It does take courage, a bit like baring one’s soul. My fellow women artists in this show, especially Katy Upson and Lizzy Schule, have been a godsend encouraging me to continue my journey and share my art with them and with you. I feel honored to have been included among this group of experienced and talented island women artists and ever grateful for the joys and challenges that painting has brought back into my life.
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