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Maker series: A Q&A with Painter Rebecca Kinkead

We visited Rebecca's newly-constructed home and studio in Cornwall, Vermont in the fall of last year. We sat down to talk about being an artist in Vermont, Rebecca's work process, inspiration, and her connection to Vermont Farm Table.

Tell us about you! Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Rebecca Kinkead, I live in Cornwall, VT. I am a painter.

Why do you paint and how did you first start?
Painting feels like my strongest voice, my first language in many ways. I started my art career fairly late in life. I went back to school for ceramics after finishing degrees in political science and education. I was 30 when I finished. I moved to Boston and quickly realized that I couldn’t afford to work with clay because of the equipment and studio space required. I immediately started working with collage and painting and never looked back. 

What’s it like to be an artist in a small state like Vermont and in what ways does it influence your work? 
Being surrounded by natural beauty, having the space and solitude to work and think has been crucial to my artistic development. I try to get to NYC every few months to see art shows in person. It feels important to have at least some exposure to the larger art world and what’s going on, but I am always happy to come home to Vermont.

What inspires your aesthetic and style when it comes to your home and work environment? 
My home and workspace are so new, it’s hard to say, but right now I am trying to keep things very simple: clean lines with minimal clutter. I find my thoughts are able to wander unimpeded for the most part.

What was the biggest lesson you ever learned from failure?
To keep going. It’s part of life and a big part of being an artist.

Tell us what connection and gathering look like for you? 
It looks like the amazing community that I feel so privileged to be a part of in Vermont. It’s what ties me to this area more than anything else.

How do you connect to your Vermont Farm Table and our products?
I love the clean, simple, strong lines. I love that they are made in Vermont, that custom options were available. The designs feel timeless and thoughtful. The craftsmanship is outstanding.

How do our products help serve value in your space?
My Together table serves as a giant desk where I lay out my art books opened to specific images that I want to think about. It also serves as a fantastic dining table surrounded by people. I love sharing stories and great food. 

What do you do when you fall into a creative rut?
Sometimes I will just take a break, take a walk, read poetry or binge-watch a tv series. I try to spend time in the studio every day, even if it’s just looking, but I think breaks are good as well. 

How do you approach being an artist in the digital age?
I don’t think digital media impacts my work other than being able to connect with people through social media and my website, which has been wonderful.

What are your values as an artist and how does tradition play into it? 
The value that has guided me throughout my painting career has been to listen to my inner voice and allow that to come through in my work. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about tradition. Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know. 

What are some of your creative influences?
Nature. Animals. Mountains. Forests. Seasons. Water. Movement and energy. Vermont.

"These paintings are an exploration of energy, transience and time;
The residue of a fleeting moment, the seen, and unseen vibrations of a living being.
 Paintings evolve from direct and remembered observations of the natural world.
The figure (human and animal) has provided a generous vehicle for color, form and surface to evolve. Paint and wax are layered, dripped and scraped to create a sense that the subject is still emerging…still 'becoming'."
- Rebecca Kinkead

You can check out more of Rebecca's beautiful work by visiting her website.