This week’s featured artist: Alison Menke, member since 2014:
ME: I am 27 years old, born of American parents in the country of Venezuela. I’ve been surrounded and inspired by art and artists all of my life. My great-grandmother, Georgia Leigh Caldwell, was an American Artist in Chicago and my grandmother, Jane Caldwell Menke, was also an accomplished artist. My mother, Beverly Ann Menke, is a painter, singer/songwriter, and author. In 2010 I graduated from the University of Maryland, CP, with a degree in Studio Art and Art History.
MY ART: Traveling with art gear wherever I go has enabled my creative stream to focus on plein air painting. This practice has become a very important step in my painting process. The paintings I create in my studio are in large part inspired by my plein air studies. It is my trek through nature that I love most about painting. My studies of light and color make each painting I develop in the studio more than just a subject, but rather a reflection of an experience I had in the great outdoors. When working on a large painting I’m able to use the color notes I recorded from real life and integrate them into my work. I want the viewer to see the colors I noticed. I’ve always been driven by challenges as an artist.
Traveling and camping out west, I know what it is to eat and breathe with a paintbrush in my hand. Painting two to five studies a day while selling and bartering them from out of the trunk of my car – I couldn’t be happier. I love the spontaneity and adventure that comes with my art. What I love most is a process that requires quick decisions, painting with speed, knowing what is important, and when to stop.A large collection of my work is currently at the Sill Life Gallery on Main Street Ellicott City, MD. Visit my website: www.alisonmenke.com.
MFA & ME: I joined the Maryland Federation of Art in 2014. As a new member I have already enjoyed both the opportunities of showing my work at The Circle Gallery and the positive energy of its members. I chose to join the MFA through the encouragement of some of its members and the charm historic Annapolis has to offer.
Spread the word about…YOU: Every week, we feature an MFA member for “Me & My Art Monday.” If you would like to be featured, please submit a photo and three paragraphs: one each about YOU, YOUR ART, and MFA & YOU totaling approximately 350 words, to firstname.lastname@example.org.