Tasting the Salty Air
Nature has always been my greatest teacher.
Growing up on Outer Cape Cod, in Massachusetts shaped my perception of how the world visually and temporally evolves. I spent hours as a child walking Ballston Beach in Truro, a feverish beachcomber, the creatures and sea forms I would find along the way were always fascinating…hoping for the prized perfect sand dollar or starfish. Drawing these species now allows me to understand and connect with them more intimately. Drawing and painting on site is my way of slowing down and being present in the moment.
As an artist, the varied landscape of Cape Cod remains my muse. Trying to depict the fleeting light on the dunes is a metaphor for the brevity of my time on the planet. To paint for hours on the edge of a dune is not just a heightened visual experience but the process includes feeling the temperature of the wind off the water, hearing the birds singing around me, smelling the mix of oil paint and pine sap and tasting the salty air. Now, more than ever, a re-romanticization of nature is necessary. The natural world’s survival mode necessitates beauty. I hope that my artwork encourages people to think about themselves in new ways in their relationship to nature.
Amy Wynne-Derry is a third generation Truro summer resident and member of the Providence Shambhala Center. She received her MFA in Painting, Drawing and Anatomy from the New York Academy of Art in Manhattan, and has a BA from Smith College. She has been teaching natural science illustration, plein-air landscape and figurative painting for over 20 years in New York City, New England and Southeast Asia. For the past 10 years, she has been teaching full time at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and part time at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has had exhibitions across New England. Her work is in many private and corporate collections. She has been awarded numerous grants including one from The Rhode Island State Council for the Arts and a recent fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center. She maintains a studio in Pawtucket, RI where she paints, draws and teaches private students. She has been involved with Shambhala meditation since September 2011.