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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 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 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"

Westford Parish Center for the Arts, Solo Show, June 2017

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

Zullo Gallery Juried show and Affordable Art Show, Medfield, MA, Fall and Winter 2017-18

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.