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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--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 effortlessly--like floating down a river, or a balloon drifting upward--which is why I am called my most-recent show, "Float."  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 every day--or as often as I can. Each piece is 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!

SHOWS/AWARDS:

Westford Parish Center for the Arts Regional Art Event March 2016, "Foggy Morning"--Best in Show

Milton Art Center, First-Annual Juried Exhibit, "Nantucket Sails"

Chelmsford Center for the Arts, Juried Show, July 2016, "Peony"

Epsom Public Library, August-October 2016, Solo Show Entitled, "Ladders"

Coming up; Westford Parish Center for the Arts, Solo Show, June 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.