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There’s no doubt Swanton artist Evelyn Silkey has plenty of talent. This summer, she has won two simultaneous “Best of Show” awards at two area shows and her paintings of local wildlife, scenes of the Garrett County countryside and quaint subjects that “fascinate” her, grace galleries and the homes of numerous art lovers.But Silkey is not one to rest on her laurels. A disciplined painter, who works primarily in watercolor, acrylics and mixed media, she paints every day, rising about 7 a.m. for breakfast so she can be ready to work in her home-based studio. “I sketch or paint until about 11:30 a.m.,” she says, “Then I have lunch, pick up the mail and come back and paint again.“If you don’t put time into your art, things don’t develop and grow. Any art discipline takes practice.”With a Scandinavian heritage, for which natives are known for hiking, walking and doing things, Silkey says, “My art is what I’m compelled to do.”Her recent awards came from the Garrett County Arts Council ’s juried first members’ show at its Gallery Shop and the Western Maryland Watercolor Society’s annual spring show in Cumberland, MD. She grew up in New York City and graduated from Pratt Institute and taught fine art in New York and Rhode Island public schools for several years. But she was “so into my teaching,” she explains, she didn’t have enough time to devote to her own work. But these days she has plenty of time to glean inspiration and works from a dramatic hilltop home which overlooks an expansive view of forested mountains and Deep Creek Lake On the south side of the home, which she shares with local architect Phil Silkey, there’s an established trail used by wildlife, from deer to bear, which have begun ready subjects for realistic paintings. “I grew up drawing and with a love of animals,” she adds. She has studied with wildlife artist John Seerey-Lester and taken workshops with local artists. Her favorite mantra is, “The artist doesn’t see things as they are, but as he is,” meaning art reflects the person creating it. Silkey is also an award-winning textile artist and years ago, while living in the Washington , D.C. area, she belonged to Potomac Craftsmen and helped create textile space in Alexandria, Virginia ’s famous Torpedo Factory gallery. Her textile art was featured in a Washington Post article and appears in the book, On Weaving. A signature member of the Baltimore Watercolor Society, she was accepted into the 2008 mid-Atlantic regional exhibition of the Baltimore Watercolor Society. She also regularly exhibits her work in Garrett and Allegany counties, the Saville and Gilchrist Galleries in Cumberland, MD and the Strathmore Mansion Gallery in Bethesda, MD
courtesy of The Lake-Front Magazine August 2010
'A Hill Faraway'
2010 GCAC Annual Juried Show Best in Show