Painting with Heart. Featured Artist: Debra Bretton Robinson. Western Avenue Studio: A409.

Painter and Art Educator– Western Avenue Studios Artist Association (WASAA) member Debra Bretton Robinson has been a part of the Western Avenue community for more than 10 years.  This mother of three graduated from Mass College of Art with a degree in Painting and Art Education in 1991.  Since then, she has been sharing her love for art with young people as a K-8 educator.  She is currently serving as a special education paraprofessional in Georgetown, MA.  Deb began painting at the age of four, and to this day she can clearly remember the moment she learned what an easel was in nursery school.  Having the opportunity to paint standing up using an easel was a formative moment for this Plaistow, NH native.

Bright, Playful, and Graphic – Deb’s colorful compositions capture various moments of her life in New England on canvas in a bold and graphic way.  Her preferred medium is acrylic paint, but she originally started out using watercolor.  When painting in her studio, she enjoys listening to jazz and blues.  During the warmer months in New England, she leaves her studio behind and joins her husband on their 1974 Glastron boat with paints and canvas in hand.  While her husband is fishing, she paints en plein air, portraying scenes from local sites such as: Lake Massapog, Long Sought Pond, Merrimack River, Nashua River, and Gloucester.  In addition to her On the Boat series, she has renderings of local birds, architecture, and landscapes.  Her latest work includes a flower series.

Deb’s Advice to Young Artists – “Don’t stop painting or creating.  Keep going!  Ignore anyone telling you differently, even yourself.”

Visiting Western Avenue Studios and Lofts – You can see Deb’s work for yourself at our next Open Studios on Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 12 – 5 p.m.  Her fine art is also visible at: debrabrettonrobinson.wordpress.com or fineartamerica/brettonarts.com.   Her work is also currently on display at the Essex Center for the Arts in Lawrence and Merrimack Reparatory Theatre in Lowell. 

 

 

 

 

Featured Artist – Bruce Wood – Studio 427

You’ve seen Bruce Wood’s creations all over Western Ave & even outside our walls, now find out what makes him tick!


Q:  Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: I grew up in Massachusetts. After graduating High School I attended Arizona Western College on an athletic scholarship. Then transferred to Northern Arizona University to study art. I have received a Bachelor of Science with an extended major in ceramics. I transitioned directly in to graduate school and received a Master of Arts in art education. Creativity has always been in my life. I have expressed it through building furniture, making pottery, fabricating jewelry, designing digital imagery, photography, and now through found object sculpture.

Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A: As a kid I remember building tree houses and forts. I once found an out-cropping of raw clay and turned it into pottery.

Q: What do you love most about your art?

A: I love the challenge of putting things together that don’t belong together and making them look like they go together naturally. I also enjoy using everyday objects in a design and hiding them in plain view.

Q:  What is your biggest obstacle with your art?

A: Time. I have a multitude of ideas that I want to attempt, and not enough time to tackle them all.

Q:  Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A: I work on several ideas at once. Each project spins off ideas for something new. I am torn between finishing an existing project or starting a new one. I jump from one thing to another and am always challenged to make my next piece better than the last.
When I am in the zone all existence is blocked out except the tasks at hand.

Q:  How does your personality translate into your art?

A: I like to make things that please me. I like to continually improve my skills and talents. The thought of failure rarely enters into the equations.
I am comfortable spending time by myself, living inside my head.

Q:  Did you always know you wanted to make the art you make today? Did you start out in a different medium in the early days?

A: I never imagined making the art I do today. I always believed I would be a potter. I like trying new things which has lead me to new art, media and skills.

Q:  What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an artist?

A: Make a lot of art and always try to improve. Don’t worry about the opinions of others. We are all in a growth process with our art.

Q: What is your favorite thing about the arts community?

A: I love being around a community of artists. For a long time I made art by myself. I learned that using myself as my own inspiration eventually stifled my artwork. My art has grown exponentially since I have moved into Western Avenue Studios.

You can visit Bruce in his Studio #427 on the First Saturday of each month at Western Avenue Open Studios!

 

Exhibit – Left New York June 21st 1924

“Left New York June 21st 1924”
maxine

A cigar box holding postcards and notes found in a garage in Orlando found its way to Lowell. In the cigar box, bare bones hint at the story of a young man traveling across the U.S. 90 years ago. Lots of questions to be answered . . . Who was the young man? What was our country like 90 years ago? Western Avenue Lofts artist Maxine Farkas invites patrons of the Chelmsford Public Library to join her in putting together a narrative about this journey.

This exhibit will run throughout the month of April at the Chelmsford Public Library