Biography and Artist Statement by Emily Chesley
Emily Painting

I drew as a child, like most children do, those funny crayon drawing of people with stick legs and spaghetti hair. When I was seven my father, who dabbled in painting and drawing himself, took me to a drawing class led by a local artist. I learned perspective and shading. In seventh grade I picked some pictures of friends and drew them, “All right likenesses,” I thought and I have been creating representations of people ever since. I went on to study art and theatre at Waldorf College, where I learned that creating art is really about learning how to see, and what I saw was how everything I studied was connected. Theatre opened my eyes to what the human condition means. Through study of Shakespeare I realized the reason his work is timeless is because it is about humans, and we just don’t change.

I want my portraits to be a part of the ordinary persons’ everyday rhythm. Enjoy the likeness of a loved one on your living room wall, a favorite pet on your fridge as a magnet, or on a card you might send to a friend. Art can be for everyday life, something that brings happiness or hope; it doesn’t need to be incomprehensible or stuffy. What I seek through my work is to reveal the human condition: the struggles that should bring us all together, universal truths in a way that can be understood. I look at themes of depression and hope, darkness and light, the tides that occur in every life. There is rhythm and melody, seasons and cycles, things to be celebrated and things to be grieved. Art should be there for our enrichment because life is not only about survival, it is about living. Art can highlight the beautiful in something as ordinary and spectacular as a mother with her child, or the way the light hits the golden fur on your slumbering cat. I want to paint you a portrait that can be added to your personal story, an illustration that will be timeless because it is about humans, and we just don’t change.



(715) 209 0490