This is part of an ongoing series we're doing to introduce you to our artists. Colleen Kidder is a local artist from Ipswich who has a background in art history, textile and jewelry design and owned a store "Eliza Gray's Goods" in Ipswich for many years which featured household goods and her paintings. She's passionate about art and continues to take classes and workshops.
A. Right now I am working a lot with oil paints. It has always has been one of my favorite mediums. There is nothing like the feeling of it gliding across the canvas!
Q: What mediums did you work in before (if any)?
A. I tend to go back and forth working with different mediums. When I am traveling I like to bring my oil pastels and gouache. Being so portable this allows me to be spontaneous and capture a moment in time that I want to remember. Often I will do a sketch and then bring it back to my Studio and work from it with my oil paints.
Q: Why this subject matter?
A. I am most comfortable painting landscapes, marshes and beaches. Being outdoors and absorbing the natural world brings me a sense of calm and a feeling of peace. I try to transfer the beauty that I see onto my canvas so that I can share it with the viewer.
Q: Describe your workspace and how you get into the mindset:
A. My studio is a two story barn structure that we built on our property. It has wonderful views of fields and farm life. It's a place where I can go into my own world and create without distraction. Sometimes I'll meditate in silence before I begin to work...and then while I'm painting I'll play music that encourages me to put motion into my brushstrokes. Sometimes I even find myself dancing with the brushes in my hands! Emotion is an important part of painting for me.
Q: What hangs on your walls and/or what fine craft do you enjoy at home?
A. Over the year my husband and I have collected several landscape paintings that we enjoy. We share a mutual appreciation for paintings that have a simple composition and have an impressionistic feeling. A few of the pieces that we own were painted by woman artists in the 1920's which of course are very special to me. We also have paintings by Charles Woodbury who taught in Ogunquit, Maine at about that same time. These works are all a source of inspiration for me. Vintage pottery from the turn of the last century is also something that I have collected through the years. The matte glazes,and simple shapes and forms complement the paintings on the walls in our home.