Cynthia Packard


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Cynthia is a continuation of an artistic lineage. Her great grandfather, Max Bohm, was a respected turn of the century Impressionist painter, and her mother, Anne Packard, is a widely collected landscape artist. Born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and raised in Princeton, New Jersey, Packard came to Provincetown in 1980 after graduating with an honors degree in sculpture from Mass College of Art. Upon her return she studied with the late Fritz Bultman, began to paint and found herself addicted to color, brushwork and the human form. A gifted colorist, she paints exceptional figures, landscapes and still lifes. Recently her work has exploded reaching new levels. By applying tar, wax, shellac and plaster, she is creating a dramatic surface with the subject matter becoming more abstract. Cynthia is the mother of four children, Zach, Caleb, Silas and Emma - all often the subjects of her paintings.


“My paintings begin with conversation and reflection. The process starts with sweeping the floor, arranging different colored cloths hung on the wall or draped on the chaise or chair. Brushes, charcoal, erasers, palette knifes and rags are organized. Solutions of turpentine, linseed oil, stand oil are made in various containers. The paint is squeezed from the large tubes around the outside of the pallet, starting with the lightest color to the darkest. The mixing of the color is last, it takes the most time. All the piles of paint competing with each other, by the end of the day they will all be together. Hoping the sun will stream through my four large windows - natural light is always preferred. The journey begins as the first mark is made, something emerges, then the wipe of the rag or bare hand. The mark disappears, yet the surface has memory, like a word spoken, it still exists afterwards. My dialogue with the painting begins, each decision informs the next. I try not to panic because I want to capture the moment. Next wide brushes overflowing with paint, then paint drips & splatters, a slow caress with paint or charcoal, wiping, rubbing, back and forth - adding and subtracting. Abruptly I stop to take a break, I need to see. I step back and look in the huge mirror that lives behind me. The mirror reverses the image and gives distance from the painting I can see the painting from a different perspective. I take a break put it against the wall, leave it alone for now, there is something there. I start a new work or go to another that has not been resolved. I have the need to illuminate, to interpret, to imagine, to communicate. And so it goes, one painting after another. At times, I will be gifted with a magic ease in creating a painting. However, most paintings are the results of my perseverance through fear and vulnerability.”