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Cynthia Wick: Inspired by the Berkshires

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When Cynthia Wick moved from Los Angeles to Lenox, MA,  she was not so much trying to reinvent her life but rejuvenate it. A one-time movie marketing executive who’d been painting full-time for a decade while raising two sons, she and her writer-husband, Chan Gibson, felt suffocated by a California culture dominated by show business and shopping. “We wanted to live somewhere where we could breathe,” she says. “We wanted to live in a blue state. We wanted good public schools. We wanted to be able to get to a big city for the day.”

Rural Intelligence ArtsShe intially came back east two years ago on a fact-finding mission to see if the Berkshires might be a place she could call home. “We weren’t in any rush to move, but both my parents had recently died and there was a sense of carpe diem,” she says. “I spent three days looking at houses with Tim Lovett of Berkshire Property Agents, and right before I was about to leave he showed me the house on Cliffwood Street. Even before we walked in the door, I knew I was home.”

There were many things she loved about the rambling turn-of-the-century shingle-style cottage—high-ceilings, big paned windows, stone fireplaces—but it was the third floor that was the tipping point. “There was this wonderful space that I could make into my painting studio,” she says. “It was the maids’ quarters which I think is so appropriate. It was the workers’ space, and I am a worker.”

Wick is zealous about her art, and she paints every day. Always someone who carried a sketchbook and pencils or pastels with her, she’s become enamored of finger-painting with the Brushes app for the iPad. “It’s like an electronic sketchbook,” she says. It’s allowed her to make paintings almost anywhere—while waiting to pick up her son in the parking lot at Monument Mountain Regional High School and while having breakfast at Haven, the cafe that is the social hub of Lenox. “There is something tactile and spontaneous about painting with my finger on an iPad.,” she says. “The process is freeing and has helped me paint in a more intuitive way. “
Rural Intelligence ArtsNow, Wick will be showing both her iPad paintings and her oil paintings in a one-woman show at Art 101, a gallery in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. “We figured out a way to display the iPad paintings on lightboxes and a TV monitor,” she says.  Some of her favorite works in the show are oil paintings of scenes from her new life such as a friend’s daughter picking green beans at Farm Girl Farm, the ice on the Stockbridge Bowl, and a barn on a hillside by Tanglewood. “The beauty of nature informs my day. My LA friends don’t understand how I can live in New England but it is an amazing tonic,” says Wick. “I am almost ashamed to tell them how happy I am.”

Cynthia Wick Paintings at Art 101 (February 11 - March 6)
101 Grand Street, Brooklyn; 718.302.2242
Opening Reception February 11, 6 - 9 p.m.

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One of Wick’s iPad paintings that will be shown on a lightbox at Art 101.

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