When Gretchen was a young child she received a Crayola Caddie—a three-tiered art supply organizer. The thrill of all those shades, hues, and possibilities was something only a budding artist could fully appreciate. In her extended family all forms of artistic expression were encouraged and supported. Gretchen grew up in an old farm house at the end of a dirt road in rural Maine where the weather and raw landscape were perfect for observing and exploring. She majored in art at Bates College and spent a semester at the Tyler School of Art in Rome. After spending some years as a graphic designer and as a full-time mom, art is now her full-time priority. 

I am addicted to being in “the zone”—the I-am-making-something-and-have-therefore-lost-all-awareness-of-anything-besides-the-paint-and-paper moments of making art. It starts with something I’ve seen or heard outside the studio, (I’m perpetually on the hunt for the interesting and beautiful—especially small, insignificant things) that has made me stop and think—a shadow, a line, a phrase, a place where contrasting colors meet. My process is intuitive and responsive—using gestural marks, wet-on-wet painting, playing with transparent and opaque paint, wiping out and painting over the ghosts of marks left behind, and lines… so many lines. I use the lines as a tool for making connections, creating structure, texture, and moving the eye around the piece. My current love affair with paper stems from the non-preciousness of it that seems to foster experimentation, mistakes, and mapping out of ideas. I often play with the idea of mixing organic shapes and textures with architectural or mechanical elements.