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About Gretchen

I grew up in rural Maine where the weather and raw landscape made their impression on me and continue to be a source of inspiration. My family is full of creative people--artists, musicians, inventors, book lovers--and I've been blessed by their support and positive influence. In 1996, I graduated from Bates College as a Studio Art major, and spent part of my junior year at the Tyler School of Art in Rome. After the birth of my first daughter in 2002, I left a graphic design job to become a full-time mom, but made painting more of a priority in 2012. Now, as a painter, occasional freelance graphic designer, and full-time mom, I live in Westford, Massachusetts with my sweet husband, two brilliant girls (a tween and a teen), a nervous Bernese Mountain dog and a sassy calico cat. 

ABOUT THE ART/PROCESS: Over the past year, I have painted exclusively on paper--mostly on Yupo paper (which is really cool, everyone should try it--like painting on a combination of rubber and plastic)--using gouache, pencil, gel pens, crayons, watercolor and acrylic. There is something about working on paper that seems full of possibilities, like when I used to make art as a child. My dad is an engineer, inventor, sculptor and metalsmith--and seeing him work out ideas on paper and then moving ahead with a project was powerful--like catching a glimpse of how his mind worked. For me, the fact that paper is so inexpensive, abundant and light, makes the combination of drawing, mark making, experimenting and problem-solving come together in a beautiful and addictive way. The moment when an idea gets fleshed out on paper--from a quick sketch to a work of art is what keeps me coming back to the studio as often as I can. I am often inspired by something small, or seemingly insignificant yet beautiful, that caught my eye that morning--a new leaf, the lines on a bridge, insect wings, etc. 

SIDE NOTE: I'm right-handed, but I draw and paint with my left hand--sometimes both hands at the same time!

EDUCATION:

Bates College, B.A., Studio Art, 1996

Temple University, Tyler School of Art, Spring Semester Abroad in Rome, 1995

SHOWS

2016--Westford Regional Art Event, Parish Center for the Arts, Westford, MA

2016--First-Annual Juried Exhibit, Milton Art Center, Milton, MA

2016--"Abstracted" Juried Show, Chelmsford Center for the Arts, Chelmsford, MA

2016--Solo Show: "Ladders," Epsom Public Library, Epsom, NH

2017--Solo Show: "Float," Parish Center for the Arts, Westford, MA

2017--18th Annual Roddy Art Competition and Juried Show, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA

2017-2018--Juried Show and Affordable Art Show, Zullo Gallery, Medfield, MA

2018--Members Juried Show MJ1, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA

AWARDS:

2016--Best in Show. Westford Regional Art Event,  March 2016, "Foggy Morning"

2017--First Prize. Art Muse "Abstracted" Contest, December 2017, "Refined"

WORKSHOPS

Water Lab: Art Experiments on Yupo Paper--West Elm, Burlington, Aug. 22, 2017

ABOUT THE NAME OF THIS SITE: Toddy Pond is a real pond, which is walking distance from where I grew up, and also the name of a tiny, alternative-education school my parents and some of their friends started and where my brothers and I attended. When someone says, "just go to your happy place"--I always think of Toddy Pond.