Abby McClure is an oil painter from West Chester, PA. Her interest in art was encouraged early by taking drawing lessons at age 14 from Rea Redifer of Kennett Square, PA. Upon graduation from Westtown Friends School in 1988, instead of traditional art university she immersed herself within the art community of Chadds Ford, PA, the home of the Brandywine painting tradition.
A friendship with local painter and Wyeth model Jimmy Lynch is what inspired Abby to pursue art as a career. Plein air painting in the surrounding fields with Lynch led to visits and artistic guidance at Andrew Wyeth's studio and home. The Brandywine River Museum exhibited Abby’s work in 1989 after she collaborated with Lynch on a series of pen and ink drawings.
In 2005 Abby was awarded a year-long scholarship to study classical realist painting with Neilson Carlin at the Brandywine Atelier in Kennett Square, PA.
Abby has shown her work throughout and beyond the greater Brandywine region including Sunset Hill Gallery, Chester County Art Association, The Art Trust, Immaculata University, Historic Yellow Springs, Goggleworks (Reading, PA) and Butternut Gallery (Montrose, PA). Abby has received positive press reviews in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Daily Local News of West Chester, PA and County Lines Magazine.
Abby particularly enjoys playing the principal role in her art business, client relations, sales, and marketing. To date she has sold over 850 paintings to national collectors with the majority of sales through her own gallery/studio, social media and website, Abby is known for her serene twilight and nocturne landscapes and more recently her plein air work. She paints in oil on Belgian linen and birch panels.
" I am drawn to the colors and tones of twilight landscapes and have spent much of my career attempting to capture them. I utilize the nature preserves, fields and farms of the Brandywine Valley to hike, sketch, paint and photograph. In the studio, I listen to meditative and classical music which helps me to relax and completely lose myself within the process of selecting compositions, drawing and painting.
In 2013 I lost central and peripheral vision in one eye (as well as depth perception) even though multiple major eye surgeries attempted to save the sight. What was at first a tragedy, I now view as a pivotal experience. I am grateful for the remaining sight I have and curiously, I feel my work is stronger than ever.
What has helped is painting plein air, a process that demands interpreting values very quickly in the constant changing light. Invigorating as well as challenging, plein air painting is helping me through the healing process by getting me outdoors more often and also helping me to see better through the intense concentration it requires.
Painting connects me on a deeper, emotional level with others. My greatest reward is when my work creates a tranquil feeling or sparks some beautiful, distant memory within a viewer. "