Living in New York City, I am attracted to the faces and movement of it's occupants as I walk the streets of this vibrant urban environment. My canvases are peopled with characters whose lives I try to imagine. I use photographs that I take of people on the street, in the subways and in museums, as source material.

When I worked as an ESL teacher for adult immigrants, my students' life stories inspired me to paint a series of paintings based on their lives and to connect to my own ancestors' experiences.

I love the City for its diversity and possibilities for encounters. Sometimes I catch an interaction, other times I try to catch people in a moment of privacy. In some works, I catch the movements of figures on the geometry of the landscape, while in others I depict the kind of enclaves and oases you can find just around the corner.

I am exhilarated by the very process of painting. I primarily use oil paint, but have used gouache and watercolor as well. Although I use recognizable imagery, I don't copy exactly what I see. For example, I don't always use local color, I combine different source material, and often I make aesthetic decisions in the process of painting. 

I received my BFA in painting and printmaking from Pratt Institute. In the beginning of my professional life as an artist I worked in multi-media, making work related to clothing, using fabric, clay, plaster, ceramic tile, paper collage, etc. I was involved in the feminist art movement in Los Angeles and sat on the board of Womanspace. Drawing and painting the figure has always been exciting to me, and inspired by the revival of figurative work in the 70's and 80's, I began to paint the figure. I continue to find new inspiration and joy in the possibilities and challenges of the work.


A short video of my husband, Douglas Newton and myself about our experiences as artists, done by Mathilde Hammel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8QK8k8rNFc