For centuries artists have flocked to the Hudson River Valley, attracted by its awe-inspiring views and serene landscapes. Annika Tucksmith, a painter who was raised in Chatham, studied art at Connecticut College, and then found herself drawn back home for the same reasons that inspired her artistic predecessors. "The landscape here has its own character," Tucksmith says. "As an artist, it's wonderful to be working and living in this area. If I feel blocked with a painting, I can go for a walk and within a mile or two I've got inspiration for another one."


Tucksmith's work represents the youthful rites of passage of a rural childhood. "My paintings aim to capture the experience of coming of age in the Hudson Valley and express the inextricable relationship between the land and the kids who grow up in it," she says.


There is an element of risk in Tucksmith's images, which often feature children playing at twilight. "When you look at how kids play and explore, there's this kind of duel between danger and delight. Look at fire—it's warm, inviting, it's mesmerizing. But it's also chaotic and totally capable of real danger. I like examining that line," she says. "When it's nighttime, are we drawn to the comfort of the light in the darkness, or the thrill of what could be out there."


Read the full article online in Chronogram.



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