There is something almost indescribable to me that happens when I am drawing on location. Whether it be witness to the early stirrings of a small town, the bustle of an outdoor market or surrounded by the rustling of sugar cane, I am excited and energized, yet so at peace with myself and my work. Though the notable landmarks, famous cathedrals and beautiful beaches around the world are always fun to draw, it is the stories and images of everyday lives and working people that call me most. I find a curiosity and some kind of inexplicable connection by drawing those in the midst of their everyday chores and jobs in other places, and these images have populated my sketchbooks over the years.

For this body of work, in this month, Women’s History Month, I choose to highlight those women whose paths I have crossed- albeit at times, a fleeting glimpse from a car during a road trip, but also when this camaraderie of sisterhood transcends language and culture and creates a memory and experience for me that lasts longer than the snap of a camera. It might be the simplest of tasks- at times, so familiar but also so different, and mostly, somewhat magical to me when I see it outside of my own surroundings. I work fast and furiously and it is important to me to capture that moment and the action of what I am seeing. The beauty that I see in these women, all, resonates for me and allows me to fill in from my mind’s eye as I leave. Gone from the scene but certainly not forgotten.

I wonder how it is that I landed as a New Yorker, surrounded by all the creature comforts anyone could want, when these women live so different a life? I have been embraced with wide smiles, curious eyes, an offer of food, an invitation into a home, a wave of hand, and also, yes, a distinct invitation to leave. These moments in time represent some of the richest experiences that I have enjoyed as an artist, and as importantly, as a woman.

Paula M. Mayo: President & Executive Director

Frank DeGregorie, Curator

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