This week’s featured artist: Claudia L. Brookes
ME: I live in Northern Baltimore County (Monkton, MD), in beautiful rural “horse country.” From the windows of my downstairs studio, I can see the woods in every season, as well as our busy birdfeeder and my “north-facing” gardens. I have been a professional fine artist for the past 15 years—a second career after 30-plus years as a medical publisher. (And I am grateful every day for my business background!) I teach weekly watercolor classes, and I am an elected Artist Member of the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association (MAPAPA), and a Signature Member of the Baltimore Watercolor Society.
MY ART: For the last decade, my focus has been on plein air painting and the challenges of plein air competitions. In the competitions, I paint in oils, which are less temperamental than watercolor in the open air–but I love both mediums. Going from one to the other is like switching languages—watercolor is a romance language and oil is…German? I am an American Impressionist, chiefly influenced by the Cape Ann, New Hope, and early 20th Century California plein air painters. Recently I completed a self-imposed challenge of painting 100 small (6×6) oil paintings in 100 days, and, in the process, rediscovered the joy of painting every day. To promote my art, I send a monthly email newsletter to 600 subscribers and host an annual holiday open studio party in my home gallery. One weekend in June is devoted to “ARTbarn.” That’s when all of my paintings move out to our Amish barn for a big annual show and sale that is open to the public. You can check out my art at www.claudiabrookes.com and at http://www.dailypaintworks.com/Artists/claudia-l-brookes-4233
ME & MFA: I am always impressed by MFA’s fantastic location in Annapolis, right on the Circle. There’s more—MFA is such an active organization, with a full calendar of high quality shows. They are always trying to do more and do it better. I live a bit far away to volunteer regularly, but I do enter shows, especially the national ones, have won a couple of awards there, pay my member dues as early as I can in 3-year chunks (helping MFA to have cash forward), and make an annual donation of whatever I can spare that year from my art income. I also intend to send a donation to help support this year’s Paint Annapolis, as it is a big leap for MFA to sponsor this important plein air event for our region and we need it to be successful!
Every week, we feature an MFA member for “Me & My Art Monday.” If you are interested, 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.