My interest in art developed as a preschooler, spending many hours drawing and painting with crayons, colored pencils, watercolors and oil pastels. Looking back it seems even then my early artwork involved light and nature. These have resonated deep in my spirit since I can remember.
Raised until the age of six in Cuba, I recall magical moments of sunlight filtering through leafy canopies, and interesting shadows dancing on glowing building facades. The bright, early morning white light of the tropics sifting through brilliant jewel tones of dense foliage and flowers are images carried in my mind forever!
This early bond I developed with the land has been the main inspiration in life for me. After high school I set aside art to complete a MS in Horticulture and Landscape Design and worked in these professions for over 25 years.
I began to paint in 1996, starting with watercolor, then pastel and oil.
Still now, what beckons me to paint is nature and how the light can transform the ordinary into a scene of beauty.
Open Studio Tour
All my art is created from nature. I have mostly worked realistically either on location outdoors (known as 'Plein Air' in art lingo) or back in the studio from photos I've taken. This said, it's amazing when you really observe reality how many colors there are hidden that the untrained eye doesn't see. And color is also very affected by the light and the surrounding colors.
When I paint I am inspired by the way the light hits a scene. Then I intuitively choose colors to develop the light and colors I see. Everyone sees color differently, and each individual artist has their own sense of color. I use color expressively, pushing or exaggerating them. I start a painting toning the surface 85% of the time with a bright warm color. Then I lay in the darks and shadows. When it gets to the actual development I paint from the background to the front. The sky goes in first and it sets the value (lightness to darkness) of the rest.
Recently I have become interested in abstracting from nature. It can be recognizable or total non-objective art. I find this very challenging particularly when it's totally non-objective.
How to Purchase
Call or email me. Visit my website www.EmelyMcConkey.com for contact info and to view art.