Meet Roberta Shea
As an artist I feel the purpose of art is to open our eyes to see that which is ordinary in a different way. Art is not just for the elite, but rather, for all those who challenge themselves visually to seek the extraordinary in their daily lives.
I live in Newtown, Connecticut, where I paint vast, open landscapes. Because my paintings are often an exploration of place, I continually draw inspiration from my daily walks along Fairfield Hills and recollections of summers spent overlooking Long Island Sound in Madison, Connecticut.
Loosely constructed and often lacking in detail, my paintings are more emotive than narrative. I utilize photography and drawings to define the elements of my oil paintings and to gather information. Back in the studio I work and rework each painting while allowing the paint to direct the conversation and my imagination.
My landscapes, which are not identifiable as any exact place or specific point in time, are a blend of actual or imagined scenes and memories that I put onto a canvas. The physicality of paint and the unfinished quality of my work invite viewers to become part of my creative process, thus completing the paintings with their own personal visions. To heighten the emotional impact of my paintings, I contrast light with dark tones, warm with cool colors, and thick impasto with thin paint applications.
Painted in vibrant hues, my vistas lack figures and are spiritual in nature. This mystical quality evokes feelings of space and time through its muted hues and color tones. Many of my paintings are best suited for intimate settings and are generally found locally in private, residential collections.
I completed my formal degree in art education at Southern Connecticut State University where I studied drawing with Michael Skop, printmaking with Anna Audette, and painting with colorist, Howard Fussiner.
I taught art in public schools and privately. Later in life, I studied drawing at the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven with Tina Rae and in the summer painted en plein air with Rick Daskam on Monhegan Island.
I am a former board member of the Society of Creative Arts in Newtown as well as a member of the Washington Arts Association where I study monotype with master printmaker Anthony Kirk and oil painting with Impressionist/Expressionist painters Ira Barkoff and Souby Boski.
When not in Newtown or Washington Depot, I am a docent at the New Britain Museum of American Art.
In spring 2014 I exhibited in a group show, “Sphere of Influence” at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, participated in Washington Arts Association first group exhibition of triptych paintings at the Good News Café in Woodbury, and had a solo show at the Woodland Café in New Haven. This past fall I participated in a painting workshop in Saxton River, Vermont with Eric Aho. Several of my paintings were selected for the fall Showtime television series, “The Affair”. This summer I am looking forward to participating in a printmaking residency in Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry, Ireland.