Emily Mitchell loved art as a child. As a young girl she took art classes wherever she could - local recreation departments, summer camps, and RISD. Emily was an art major at Wheaton College in Norton, MA, and began her art education career in the early 90's by being the Arts and Crafts Director at her summer camp in Ivoryton, Connecticut. There, Emily found her calling-connecting through art.
In 1998, she began teaching at a holistic, junior boarding school in the Adirondacks, where she learned how to set limits and push boundaries -with her mind, art, soul and her students. Emily returned to Massachusetts, where she began teaching in the Franklin Public School system for the next 7 years. During this time she also began participating in triathlons, and completed Ironman Lake Placid in 2003.
In 2005, Emily moved to Vermont, and began teaching art at Champlain Valley Union High School. She also married and started a family with her husband, Chad. Emily taught ceramics, drawing, a survey course and AP Studio Art - a rigorous, portfolio-driven college level drawing class. An annual favorite was the "Life-Sized Self Portrait" - which Emily did one year (to make sure she could!!!)
In 2013, Emily began to make and develop her own art again, as a result of reading and taking the e-course and in person workshop, "Bloom True" with Flora Bowley. This course re-awakened the playfulness in her art - a tool she had embraced with previous teachers John Crowe and Peter London.
Emily started painting in the evenings, and what began as an outlet for teaching and parenting stress, grew to become her new "job". Thus, a new chapter in her life was born, as were hundreds of paintings. Emily now divides her time between raising two energetic, athletic boys, coaching Masters and US Swimming, swimming through large bodies of cold Vermont water, and making art!
My work begins with playful applications of leftover paint on spare canvasses, and slowly evolves from loose, colorful marks into vibrant and complex “landscapes”. My narrative imagery, which is rooted in my strong connection to nature, evolves over time and is a response to the canvas in front of me, rather than a specific plan. I focus on process as an essential component of developing work that feels authentic and personal.
Making art, for me, is a back-and-forth play between spontaneous, intuitive mark-making, and careful deliberation and intention: a blend of letting things happen, and making things happen. I look to the canvas itself to guide me, working with “what’s working” to move forward. This is practice takes patience - there is no quick solution to any problem. However, this process does allow unexpected colors, imagery, and ideas to become part of my art. Each day, each painting, each moment is new and I am always learning.
Emily Mitchell is an artist, wife, mother, art teacher and swimmer, living and creating art in scenic Richmond, Vermont.