MaryEllen Hackett has a B.F.A. in painting and printmaking from Adelphi University in NY. Hackett has received artist in residence positions at Weir Farm National Historic Site, Fire Island National Seashore, Joshua Tree National Park, the Vermont Studio Center, and a work/study at the Center for Book Arts in NYC. She has been interviewed for Adventure Journal, Howl Often, and in 2019 was included in the book She Explores, by Gale Straub and published by Chronicle. In the 2020 her paintings were exhibited at the Nassau County Museum Of Art in NY. Currently she lives and works between the Mountains and Coast of California.
I was raised to be a beachcomber; a magpie of pebbles and shells. Each object was imbibed with its time and place of discovery. My paintings are a way to continue to collect the waypoints of my life, but while treading lightly in the landscape. Together they have become the map at the beginning of a book, the kind that only shows the places pertinent to the story.
My artistic process begins with paintings and drawings done from observation. I complete most, if not all, of the painting on scene- finishing the piece working from memory and written notes taken while sketching. My education emphasized editing for the sake of emphasis, so while my paintings are based in life, they are not meant to be a photo of it. The scale is intimate- most days my paintings travel tucked into the leaves of the notebook in my pack. The subjects, whether the sweeping views familiar to others in the public landscapes I live and work in or the private views out my windows, are reflections of experiences had and days remembered.
Additional prints and paintings made in the studio follow much of the structure of my observations, while allowing for focus on particular subjects that resonate after leaving the field.