Drenched in the vibrant hues of a Maine farmhouse, our spotlight artist, Gretchen Warsen, crafts a tapestry of emotions with every brushstroke. Rooted in a family legacy that cherished all forms of artistic expression, Gretchen's artistic journey was fine-tuned at Bates College.Each piece she creates invites viewers to navigate layers of emotions reminiscent of peeling back the veils of time. Her work presents a harmonious dance between the past and the present. From her strikingly vivid brushstrokes to her thoughtfully curated titles, you can sense the fervor and inspiration bubbling in every creation.

Join us as we go deeper into Gretchen's work, and discuss her recent paintings featured in the Chroma exhibition with PxP Contemporary.

What inspired you to create the work you showcased in the 'Chroma' exhibition?

I'm an ocean girl, raised near the coast of Maine, so I'm always enchanted by the colors of the ocean. Whenever I start a piece, I usually don't have a very specific idea of what I want, except for a few color ideas, and then as the layers pile on, what the piece will end up being also emerges. When I think I'm done, I'll sit back, stare, and think about all the things on my mind--so I called this one "Tide Pool Sky" because it reminded me of when I was little and would crouch down to find little creatures swimming and crawling beneath the surface of a watery mirror on a sunny afternoon.

Can you share some insights into your creative process? Where do you draw inspiration from when it comes to your color choices?

Lately, I've been obsessed with interesting floral bouquets and also interior design magazines. I've been trying to move past the colors I find immediately pleasing and add in some stranger choices to mix things up and give my brain a little project to chew on.

How did your medium of choice enhance your ability to convey the color in your artwork?

Working on a smooth wood panel is always fun with acrylics because I change my mind so often. I like to start with an initial color palette, but then it will often get completely changed by the end. I have found that because I work fast and I like acrylics because they dry fast, and I love wood panels because they seem to be able to take all the layers of indecision, the scraping, the sanding, and the piling on.

What do you want viewers and collectors to know when interacting with your art?

I never want people to decide they don't like abstract art because they "don't get it." I want them to be reminded of things, see shapes and lines interacting, feel like they are enveloped in a world of vibrant color that invites them in to take a closer look. Choosing titles is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE part of the process because--especially for abstract work--I want to give the viewer a little glimpse of what I see but also keep the title vague enough so they can decide if the piece resonates or not--I want them to get it and also make their own story.

What are you currently working on and looking forward to this season?

I've been just plugging along with no real goal or plan. I just love to paint and will see what will happen when I build up a new body of work. I'm about to have both my daughters in college, so maybe a residency might be fun for this soon-to-be empty-nester! Either that or I'm just going to collect a bunch of dogs and cats.