“In many ways, I feel that I did not so much choose art as a career, but rather found it an unavoidable companion. It has always been such an integral part of my life that its continuation has been as natural as growing up itself. From the time I was a child, my art has reflected my day to day experiences, a visual diary of sorts. Now, it serves to ask questions, at times with laughter, at times with quiet force.”
Aletha grew up on a small Indiana farm where her first models were the often-uncooperative dairy cows. Introduced to art in childhood, she went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from Bowling Green State University. Prior to moving to her current home in Madison, Wisconsin, she was a University Design and Drawing Instructor at the Toledo Museum of Art School of Design, Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, Ohio), and Marietta College (Marietta, Ohio).
Watercolor has been the dominant medium in her work for the past twenty years. “Although I initially began my graduate studies as an oil painter, I started experimenting with watercolor shortly thereafter, and have continued these explorations into the present. I have chosen watercolor because I find a real joy in it. It has such simplicity: the interaction of pigment and water. I feel at home with it, yet am continually surprised by its diverse capacities. I develop my paintings with transparent layers, a carry-over technique from my years as an oil painter.”
Aletha currently exhibits her paintings at watercolor exhibitions across the country. She is a member of the Watercolor USA Honor Society as well as the National Watercolor Society, Midwest Watercolor Society and Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Society. Her paintings have won major awards at prestigious watercolor exhibitions across the country, including the American Watercolor Society’s Exhibition in New York, the National Watercolor Society’s Exhibition in California and the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition in Colorado. Aletha has also been an active art fair exhibitor. Her paintings have earned awards in the Coconut Grove Arts Festival in Miami, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver, Chicago’s Old Town Art Fair, The Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City, The Saint Louis Art Fair, the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival in Florida, and Ann Arbor’s Original Street Art Fair
“I want my drawings to show the evidence of my personal involvement, the individual strokes of the artist’s hand. I choose black and white materials because I am attracted to the strong highlights and powerful darks, reminiscent of the chiaroscuro technique used by the old masters. However, I use light and dark more intuitively, to achieve my immediate expressive ends, rather than as a way of duplicating reality. “My drawing ideas have many different sources, but are always tied to emotional cords. At times, ideas area triggered by something I see that shouts to be drawn. Other times, they are a synthesizing of fragments of my past, my travels or my whimsies and dreams.”
Mixed Media Acrylic Paintings
Aletha first began exploring abstract approaches to painting in 1997 after participating in an experimental painting workshop. Although she has been recognized as an accomplished figurative watercolor painter for the past twenty years, this body of abstract work takes her in a new direction.
“I find the creative process with these abstract paintings to be extremely intuitive and liberating. I am once again immersed in the exuberant world of the child with finger paint.”
For additional information regarding the artist, please refer to the following publications that feature the artist and her work: