Colleen McGowan is a recent graduate of the State University of New York at New Paltz with a B.S. in Visual Arts Education with a religious studies minor. She has exhibited at the Art Education Juried Art Show recieving an honorable mention for her print, “Yawn” and at the Hopper House in Nyack’s Members Exhibition.
Her work centers mainly on human and animal relationships specifically the pet culture. Personification of animals has always fascinated her, and is prevalent in her work. It is as much about the pets in her work as is is about the people behind them.
Colleen works mainly in oil paint but enjoys branching out into printmaking, photography and sculpture. Her hobbies include reading, drawing, painting and loving her orange cat George.
She has been working at the Rockland Center for the Arts Summer Day Camp for 4 years and most recently has been teaching Wearable Art and Puppetry.
Examples of her student’s work at Rockland Center for the Arts, Upper Nyack Elementary School (where she student taught) and at Spring Valley High School (where she also student taught) are in the student work tab.
Colleen is glad to do commissioned work. Feel free to contact her by email with any inquires. She can do portraits of people, pets, or any mural work in your home or business.
My work is an examination of the human and animal figure. Depicting animals in a classic portraiture style elevates these beings to a human level and forces the viewer to think of the life of that animal in human terms. My medium of choice is oil paint for its classical roots in the history of portraiture. My paintings and drawings examine our human tendency to anthropomorphize animals, giving them human traits and conditions that may or may not be realistic.
Color plays an important role in my work for my love of saturated hues and complementary colors. The idea that two entities can be at odds with one another yet work in complete harmony like human and animal relationships.
There is an element of whimsy in my work as well. We regard the animal kingdom as separate from our own looking at it through a whimsical film, fantasizing its members. As an animal lover, I greatly enjoy the idea that animals are part of a bigger universe that we as humans long to be apart of, but always look at it from the other side.
I focus mostly on human and animal relationships pertaining to the pet culture in this country. Where do we draw the line between human and animal? Is there a line? Do we have a right to even draw that line? I hope to explore these questions and ideas.