Featured Artist: Gerry Wilkins
“I walk in the woods a lot, that’s where I get a lot of my inspiration,” Gerry Wilkins said by phone recently. She is the Chaffee’s Artist of the Month, and acrylic on canvas is her medium. All her work is original, one of a kind, she doesn’t do prints.
She painted the Vermont Country Store under a stormy sky, an alcove of bare birch trees, a rooster on black background, and the colors contrast and complement each other in a way that brings them to life.
Born in Plattsburgh, NY, she met her husband in Londonderry and now calls Belmont home. She recently joined the Chaffee as a juried artist member but her career as an artist has been a long time coming.
“This is the story I tell a lot of people,” she said. “When my girls were young I used to watch Bob Ross with my morning coffee. I never painted with him but when they grew up I just started dabbling with pencil and paint.”
She did her first show in Weston in 2013 and has been at it ever since. Bob Ross’s outdoor scenes may have planted the seed for her but Wilkins found her own style over the years.
“I just found my own way,” she said. “People look at my work and (see) the serenity of it – very soft, clean, and simple.”
She has two signature paintings — The Peaceful Tree, a lone evergreen drizzled with snow surrounded by a starry night sky; and Mr. Twiggs, a snowman with a humanity in him. He’s looking up, maybe at a full moon, because there’s light cast on his face. And through just a black dot as an eye and a small swipe of orange for the carrot nose, she somehow captures a look of wonder on his face in profile.
“The Peaceful Tree I think I’ve done over a thousand of those,” Gerry said, “no two alike. And Mr. Twiggs the snowman, it could be 90 degrees and he’ll still sell.”
She also paints with her daughter Meagan, who does a show every year at Christmastime to donate to animals in need and different humane societies.
Gerry’s recent posts online show a painting of autumn trees exploding with color, and a fairy house with red polka-dot mushrooms, a tea-light fire pit, and wood coin steps.
“Sometimes I can get one done in a day, other times it’s a week,” Gerry said. “I can go three weeks and not touch a brush (if) I’m just not in the mood, and then I get this inspiration and I wake up at six in the morning and I can’t wait to get in there, and be in there for a week straight.”
You can find her work at the Chaffee, and on Etsy, Facebook and Instagram under gerrywilkinsart.