I began my artistic journey in 1978 at a pottery studio in Flint, Michigan. I worked in this artistic medium while living in Michigan and in New York through 1985 when I moved to New Jersey. My painting journey in acrylics began over 20 years ago at the Ocean City Arts Center as I worked to creatively memorialize my mother, Sylvia.
I developed my skills as an artist under the mentorship of Lance Balderson, teacher and artist extraordinaire, whose painting "Tryst" is in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I am a lifelong learner and develop my skills through local classes and workshops as well as classes at academic institutions including Atlantic Cape Community College, Fleisher Art Memorial and Tyler School of Art.
Past accomplishments include awards for local juried shows, participation in invitational shows, and a solo show of my work at the Ocean City Art Center, all in New Jersey. I am an Associate Artist Member at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts in Millville, where I show my work 2-3 times/year. I am also a member of the Fine Arts League in Ocean City where I have my work permanently on display. I currently show my work at the Ocean City Fine Arts League in Ocean City, NJ and at Nashville North studios in Linwood, NJ.
My body of work encompasses images of architecture, landscape and still life, although I am drawn to a wide range of subjects. My goal is to create a bold work of art that resonates with my vision of the subject. I achieve this primarily through the creation of unique compositions and generous use of color. Inspirations for my compositions come from travels and life experiences. I am currently working to create more abstract interpretations of my subjects, a practice that takes stepping away from the reality of the subject and responding to what is being created on the canvas itself. A new journey is under way in the exploration of non-objective works, focusing on color, shape and emotion.
Numerous people have influenced my painting. They include artist and long-time teacher Lance Balderson; artist and friend, OCAC teacher Barbara Rosin; beloved and sadly missed friend and artist, Patricia DeCray; and my group of fellow painters. Their encouragement, inspiration and generous guidance have been invaluable.
Please feel free to follow me on Instagram @iam_mcoolart or on Facebook.