For over a century, our region has been home to extraordinary artists. Local Arts Index highlights the work of individuals who continue our community’s rich creative legacy.
Meet painter Graceanne Malloy.
How Did You Become an Artist?
When I was a little kid, my dad bought me a Kodak Instamatic 44 plastic camera. I took pictures of everything, driving everyone crazy.
I also loved to write. In college, I started out majoring in English, but ended up spending all my time in the theatre department. So I got a degree in theatre. I moved to the East Village in the 80’s intending to become an actress.
I got work in educational publishing, first as a writer then as a graphic artist. A few years ago, I decided to switch gears and go back to school. I basically did a Bachelor of Fine Arts on my own.
I didn’t know if I’d do well in studio art but I ended up loving it. Painting was the last thing I picked up. I came to it late, but everything I’ve been through creatively comes out on the canvas. I graduated last spring with a Masters in Art Education K-12.
What kind of art do you make?
I make oil paintings inspired by how natural light plays on architecture and reflection, working on canvas sizes 24×24 or larger. First I take photographs of interesting buildings, mostly Victorian structures with leaded glass windows that reflect the natural daylight. Then I get into the studio, and begin sketching in charcoal. When I am satisfied with the dimensions of the sketch, I mix my colors and begin applying the paint to the canvas.
I tend to work fast, taking only 3 or 4 hours to make a painting. The story of the painting comes quickly once I have chosen my subject.
What’s Your Muse?
My muse is basically natural light, and the patterns it creates in reflection and shadow. The houses in Nyack, with their curves and lead glass windows are endless sources of inspiration for me.
Most of the time, I just get outside with my box and easel and plant myself somewhere and start to work on something. Then I’ll take the piece into the studio to put the finishing touches on. When it’s not convenient to take my paints and easel, I’ll grab my camera and go for a walk. Then I sketch from a photograph in the studio.
I’m a member of the Nyack Art Collective. On the first Friday of the month the group produces individual shows in the venues along Main Street and Broadway from 5-8pm.
On March 7, my work will be hanging in Johnnycakes at 84 Main Street.
You can see more of Graceanne’s work at graceannemalloy.com
Local Arts Index is sponsored by Maria Luisa, 77 South Broadway and ML by Maria Luisa, 75 South Broadway, Nyack, NYby