Artist's Statement

Judith Austen

Open water can be nature's inviting mirror of tranquility, a sanctuary to linger by, or it can turn to a treacherous turbulence, terrifying and real. I am the shore bird poised for the visual moment I want to grab and get down as mine, always in oil paint.

During the transition from my home studio to a commercial space, I found myself painting on location at water's edge and also taking photographs so as to finish some paintings in the studio. These photos, enlarged and deliberately distorted, serve as departure points for new paintings within the on-going series, Water Close-up

Nowhere is so vivid as what holds in paint.

About Judith Austen

Judith Austen is an artist and writer raised in Great Neck, Long Island. Having spent her young adulthood in New York City, she moved to Boston for an MFA, and taught art at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, MA. In 2016, she and her husband moved from New England to Tucson, Arizona.

Photo by Susan Lapides.

Painting in Progress

Judith invites us to her studio to see her work "Shelf Life" in progress.

Photo by Janice McQuaid.


Abstracts are about ideas dreamt into color. A series can begin with an idea as academic as Primary Colors and then allowing myself to go where it takes me on canvas. Or it can be about a color I need in the same way a food I may crave. This can take the form of paint or knitting, the latter enabling me to physically hold and feel the color. In facing the death of my parents, painting as I felt them allowed me the transition on my own terms leading to an acceptance with heart. How a viewer may experience an abstract can be as personal and self-referential as the artist who painted it.

Judith Austen