"Art has always been part of my life. I was born in Massachusetts and grew up on a dairy farm. My parents had a strong interest in art, my mother as a lecturer at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and my father as an avid collector of emerging art. As a small child, I requested art lessons and my parents found a local art teacher to work with my younger siblings and me. Although those early lessons seemed more like a family babysitting activity, I longed to be able to express myself through art.
In high school my art teacher encouraged me to save a portrait I had drawn in pastel for my permanent portfolio. In college, though captivated by studio art classes, I majored in psychology. I saw myself as “artistic” but not as an artist. Looking back, I wonder how I made the distinction.
After college, I moved to New York City, married and had four children. Demands of marriage, family and career in psychology took precedence. Yet, the desire to paint grew as I spent summers on Cape Cod beginning in the mid-1980s. I wanted to attempt to capture the beauty of the light as well as the evocative aspects of the New England landscape that had been so much a part of my youth. Artist Ann Packard became my teacher in the early 1990s, taking away my brushes and handing me a palette knife, encouraging me to take risks with paint that drawing had not allowed. Although it may sound cliché, she changed my life. Ann saw the artist in me that I had failed to take seriously and she challenged me to go further.
As time has passed, the irresistible pull of the paint, the magic of light and shadow, the fascination of trying to capture something elusive, continue to engage me. Currently, I am pursuing painting full time, without leaving psychological thinking behind. Either with words or with paint, I am integrating the two perspectives. Yet, prioritizing my art has brought a freedom from constraints and a sense of renewed energy and excitement. I am finally freeing the artist within."
-Fay Lampert Shutzer