Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.
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True to a painter of light, she often creates base layers with cadmium yellow and cadmium orange pure, then sketching her subject with brilliant blue. Instead of black, she uses dioxazine purple, and creates shadows with a shade called light hue violet. "I generally use the full spectrum in all of my paintings, and I place complementary colors next to each other because they cause my brain to vibrate a little," she said. During one frigid winter with abundant snowfall, when Chelsea was home with an infant and toddler, she worked on a series of floral still lifes as an antidote to the cold—not that you could call anything she paints "still." Her work is so vibrant that it jumps off the canvas, yet it's always a welcome greeting. "My mom says I'm the Princess of Primaries," she said. "It's bold, straight color." On her easel leans a large canvas of the view from a porch on Cushing Island, Maine. A scarlet rocking chair invites the viewer in to admire the treed meadow and water beyond. It's stunning, but something about it, she believes, is not right. So she will work at it and work at it. The bonus is that overlapping applications of paint add texture and depth. "I'm trying to recreate the feeling that I had when the yellow sunrise hit that red rocking chair. It took my breath away," she said. "If I get myself to feel that, then I'm done." Perfection, for an artist, is elusive, and perhaps not even desired. "I make tons of mistakes," Chelsea said. "Someone said: 'How you handle your mistakes becomes your style.' My perspec- tive can be a little off, but the distortions are what give my work soul." Again, she notes, think of van Gogh's expressive work. "The viewer engages with the emotion, and accepts the imperfection or corrects it in their own mind." That doesn't mean that creating a painting, from start to finish, is a smooth ride. "I go through a rollercoaster of emotions," she said. There's the excitement and anticipation of beginning a work. Then "I get mad, then I love it. There's a journey that happens—before noon!" Then she must pick up her preschooler. Choosing Wellesley as a home has reaped benefits for Chelsea. In addition to feeding her inspiration, Wellesley is home to a strong net- work of artists. Chelsea joined Wellesley Women Artisans, which includes artists of varied disciplines and provides support, motivation, and the opportunity to share work with the public through commu- nity events. "I plan on being here for a long time," she said. Being in the lucky position of having her parents as mentors and teachers, Chelsea only now has signed up for her first formal painting instruction, at the Museum of Fine Arts. It's a portrait class, which dovetails with her latest challenge: painting the people of Wellesley. She plans a 20-painting series. Creating a challenge helps her to focus on art, when all of her time could so easily be spent meeting demands of family and home. As soon as she drops her children off at school, she carves out three hours for painting. Emails and errands wait while she works. "This is what I'm meant to be doing," she said, "so I'd better make it sacred." 184 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 7 Arriving Wellesley Square, 24 x 36 artist profile "it jumps off the canvas"