Painting continues to provide constancy in my life. I have been involved with visual mark-making since childhood working in 3D and 2D formats. A diagnosis of cancer in 2007 led me to re-prioritize my life which included spending more time painting both for pleasure and as a healing tool.
The reoccurring theme of my paintings is imagery from nature. I do not start out with a fixed idea of how the painting should look when it’s done. Once I have a general idea, I let the painting emerge by connecting with what it is telling me as it unfolds. This process not only results in a surprise ending, but also enables me to notice my own unexpected reactions to the painting as its being developed.
After many decades of working “a corporate job” I retired recently to paint full-time in my studio (#317) at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell.
Art is the thread that weaves everything together in my life, starting with art classes as a child to a professional career as teacher, marketing communication manager, illustrator, graphic designer, and fine artist. My favorite subjects are people, pets, nature and history; and I paint in an expressive realistic style. My knack for capturing likenesses is a great skill for portraits. Illustrating children’s books trained me to include special elements that provide insight into the subject’s personal story: a toy, piece of jewelry, or a flower. I also put extra care in painting the subject’s eyes.
My art has been displayed in solo and juried shows at various museum and gallery locations including the American Labor Museum (Haledon, NJ), Massachusetts Audubon Society (Moose Hill, Sharon, MA), Museum of Art and Culture (Woonsocket, RI), Parish Center for the Arts, Rockport Art Association, the American Textile and History Museum, The Arts League of Lowell, The Brush Art Gallery and Studios, Chelmsford Art Society, The Concord Art Association, The Danforth Museum of Art, The Fitchburg Museum of Art, and the Whistler House Museum of Art.
Claire Gagnon, Art Teacher and award-winning fine artist, opened Chez Claire Art School in 2018 where she teaches Drawing, Acrylic Painting, and Watercolor classes to Adults. Most classes are held at the Brush Gallery and Studios in Lowell. Claire also offers some classes on-line through zoom.
Groups are small to provide personal attention and guide each student develop their own talent. To get more info about her art school and herself, visit her website at:https://www.chezclaireartschool.com/
When I retired from working at the Chelmsford Library in 2016, I signed up to take a pottery class at Ancient Echoes Pottery Studio with Sharon Levy. I fell in love with pottery; it was like being a kid again playing in the sand. I spent a couple of years throwing clay around with several other potters. A few times while struggling to apply glaze to my pots and vases, I had the notion it might be helpful to learn some painting skills.
One day in 2018, a visit to the Senior Center sent me on a wonderful detour. I walked into a room where Denise Rainis was mentoring a roomful of artists. The next thing I knew, I was holding a palette and paintbrush and discovering a whole new side of myself. I’ve been having a blast learning how to paint, and I love being around a community of like-minded artists. Although the Coronavirus lock-downs ended our weekly paint sessions at the Senior Center I am continuing my art education via “YouTube” and learning from hundreds of artists across the world.
I am a pastel artist and have enjoyed working with pastels for about 15 years. I try to paint every day and I am particularly challenged to do so during the month of October. My online pastel group, How To Pastel, challenges its members to paint 31 paintings–one for every day of the month. I’ve done this now for 4-5 years and find great inspiration (and progress!) in doing so. Members have become friends and we all benefit from each others’ critiques and suggestions.
Lately I have been painting different scenes from my town of Groton, which has many beautiful areas. Recently I’ve made some sales through posting my paintings on the Groton Faceboook page.
I am planning for a show at the Groton senior center once Covid has departed from our lives…the September opening didn’t happen, sad to say.
I have always enjoyed making things, but it is only since I have retired from a high tech career and raised a second family that I started taking art classes. Now I am pursuing my life long interests in art. This love of art has lead me to experiment with different styles and mediums, whether mixed media, vibrant watercolors, acrylics, or encaustic paints.
Many of my artwork pieces depict areas that I have visited and for which I have tried to create visual statements about the world around me. While visiting Bryce Canyon, I marveled at the space and lines that nature created, and tried to show that in my “Hoodoos” painting. You can see how that watercolor paintings became an intersection of a landscape and an abstract design of Bryce Canyon “Hoodoos”.
I am a member of the Brush Gallery, the Art League of Lowell, and the Whistler House. I am also a member of the Chelmsford Art Society and have served on the CAS Board for the past couple of years.
I am truly an amateur photographer. I love to look around and shoot photos that remind me of ones some might see in a magazine or on a calendars. I’ve been doing so for about 20 years. At 68 years old, I have no aspirations in becoming a accomplished photographer, just one who occasionally takes a picture that appeals to me. Photos that I can show to family and friends with the hope they enjoy them.
Esther Donlon lives in Westford, Ma and has been painting in watercolor for 30 years. For most of this time, Esther worked full time as a Technical Communications Manager and painted whenever she could in her free time. She took watercolor classes with several local Massachusetts artists including Nancy Russo, Kathy Cooper, Kathy Dunn and Cynthia Van Horne Ehrlich.
In 2010, Esther retired and has since devoted more time to her watercolor painting. In 2015 she attended a workshop given by Robert J. O’Brien AWS NWS in Vermont.
She likes to paint a variety of subjects such as flowers, landscapes and some portraits. Her flowers are very detailed but she also uses a “pouring watercolor” technique in many of her other painting.
Esther has won several awards locally and has been accepted into several juried art shows at local, regional, and national levels.
Esther is a Signature member of the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, an Associate member of the New England Watercolor Society, a member of the Brush Art Gallery and a member of the Chelmsford Art Society. She also previously served on the Board of the Chelmsford Art Society.
Laurie Simko is an oil painter inspired by the natural world.
In response to the COVID pandemic she painted a portrait series of 20 COVID nurses, starting with her daughter when she first acquired her protective gear. This series is meant to show gratitude, to honor the frontline workers, and to chronicle this challenging time.
Connect on Facebook: @lauriesimkoArt or Instagram: Laurie Simko Artist
Arts League of Lowell, Lowell, MA Brush Art Gallery, Lowell, MA Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA Chelmsford Art Society, Chelmsford, MA Concord Art Association, Concord, MA Copley Society of Art, Boston, MA Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA Duxbury Art Association, Duxbury, MA Experimental Group of Rockport Art Association National Association of Women Artists, NYC, NY Rockport Art Association, Rockport, MA Western Ave Studios, Lowell, MA Whistler House Museum of Art, Lowell, MA
Located in historic Chelmsford Center, Picture Yourself! has been providing the area with creative design and personal service for over 25 years!
In addition to providing high quality custom framing services, our gallery offers a vast array of both framed and unframed originals and prints by local and international artists. We also offer antique maps, illustrations and historic collectibles, as well as contemporary posters and sport scenes.
Let us enhance your home or business with unique art and framing options for every decor and budget!
Art for Sale
Here in our Gallery at Picture Yourself! we carry a broad range of originals, prints, antiques and posters. We also have a selection of interesting handcrafted mirrors with shells, beads and porcelain decorations. Along with works of art, we have a new addition to our display area, a collection of handcrafted jewelry called “Love It or Bead It.” We’ve repurposed different stones, beads and findings into earrings, bracelets and necklaces with a contemporary “twist.”
Many of the original paintings and limited edition prints we feature in the gallery are produced by local artists such as Maris Platais, Thomas Rebek, Kathleen Cantin and William Welch. We also carry other creative international artists including Mary Mark, Beki, Rick Rush, Judith Hall and Fritz Kubitz. Our collection contains images of landscapes, seascapes, nature, birds, caricatures of people and animals, and photography. We also have many catalogues to browse through for inexpensive open edition prints.
In our antiques collection the inve
ntory often has local area maps as well as scenes of Cape Cod, the Lakes Region of N.H., images and maps of the Maine coast, and a handful of other countries. We have scenes from the 1800s, pages of newsprint and publications such as Bartlett and Harpers Weekly, and a mix of historic botanical prints, birds and hunt scenes.
We also feature some of our local sports and championships teams like the Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics with panoramas and newspaper cover headlines. For the Bruins we have a great panorama of the Winter Classic in Fenway Park. Often our customers will come in with their own magazines like Sports Illustrated or front page pictures from other media to frame for their collections. Ticket stubs, pennants, autographed photos and souvenirs are also great items for custom framing and rounding out any fan’s collection. Caught a baseball or a puck, we can frame that too!
We are located in historic Chelmsford Center, next to the Card & Gift and across from Fishbones Restaurant. Plenty of parking on street or behind the building off Cushing Place. Feel free to come on in through the back door.
17 Central Square
Chelmsford, MA 01824
main (978) 256-0140
fax (978) 256-7185