Loose, Airy Style: Painting by Madeline Shea

An oil painting of a car and a buspassing bus, oil on canvas

Madeline Shea has been drawing and painting for her entire life, graduating from Parson’s and going on to teach art for three decades. Madeline paints in a loose, airy style that captures the mood and feeling of a scene, place, or person.


A painting of several figures at a beachbeach games, oil on canvas


The artist’s portfolio is composed mainly of figurative works. She often depicts human figures but tends not to focus on a single subject, rather depicting complex scenes and tableaux of everyday life. When she does create portraits, the often include more than one subject – sometimes a person and a pet, for example – and the background setting is rendered in as full detail as the figure, lending a sense of certain reality to each image.


A screen capture of Madeline Shea's art websiteMadeline Shea's art website front page


I’m interested in Madeline’s recent works and the way the artist has adopted an even looser painting style of late. Many of these works seem to focus on urban scenes, moments between strangers, and interesting views of nature within an urban setting. The artist’s blended, gestural of painting gives these scenes a quietness, and yet the heavy, fast brush strokes seem to parallel the fast pace of urban life.


A painting of two dogs from an upward anglepen and pad, oil on canvas

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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