An Unexpected Conversation
Original painting by MaryEllen Hackett
Image size: 5 ½ x 4 ½ "
Mat Size: 10 x 8"
Media: Gouache and Watercolor on paper
MaryEllen Hackett is an observational landscape painter whose work captures the environment she lives and works in through drawing and painting. She has a B.F.A. in painting and printmaking from Adelphi University in NY. Hackett has received artist-in-residence positions at Weir Farm National Historic Site, Fire Island National Seashore, Joshua Tree National Park, the Vermont Studio Center, and a work/study at the Center for Book Arts in NYC. She has been interviewed for Adventure Journal, Howl Often, Maker's Movement, and in 2019 was included in the She Explores book, written by Gale Straub and published by Chronicle Books. In 2020 she was included in "Museum as Muse," a 3 person show at the Nassau County Museum of Art in NY. She is a signature member of the Cowgirl Artists of America and a curated member of the Point Reyes Open Studios. Currently she lives and works between the mountains and coast of California.
I was raised to be a beachcomber; a collector of pebbles and shells. My paintings are a way to collect the waypoints of my life, but while treading lightly in the landscape. They have become the map at the beginning of a book, the kind that only shows the places pertinent to the story.
This body of work was largely created over the winter and spring of 2022 into 2023, a time where Yosemite was hard to access. Revisiting my piles of observed sketches and paintings was a welcome return to personal moments found in the public landscape. Each piece is deeply rooted in observational painting and drawing. My education encouraged editing for the sake of emphasis, so while my paintings are based in life, they are not meant to be a photo of it. I pulled from moments that were both time stamped and timeless. Shadows lay over erratics to become sundials. The trees obstructing the view of the vast landscape give competition to the icons. Each piece is mostly gouache with some watercolor on cotton paper. The opaque gouache allows me to bring structure to both shadows and sticks.
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