Self-Portrait_Arthur_2 - Victoria Arthur

I retired after 34 years of work in science and nature, as a wildlife biologist and conservation education professional.  I rejoined my art journey in art center classes and weekly plein air and life drawing groups.  Next, I enrolled in college, graduating with a BA in Art, University of Hawaii Hilo in 2020.  A redefined retirement is the freedom to decide what you want to do with your new gift of time.  The immersive environment of creating art, exploring and learning is what I’m seeking.  Now, fully engaged in art, my next step is to continue the journey through applying to  Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) programs.  

I have a passion for plein air painting, with an urgency to capture the feeling of the natural world; the light, the movement of wind and water, and the feeling of being there.  Conveying my wonder for the natural world is more important to me than recreating reality. 

When I’m painting the natural world, I think it’s an extension of my career as a conservation educator, helping people connect with nature.  I want someone to stop in their tracks, have them spend a long time viewing the artwork, and be emotionally moved by the experience.  I’ve been experiencing some of this feedback from my art, already.  

I would like to explore landscape abstraction in my MFA work.  I welcome the chance to explore the influences of contemporary art, as well as improving my skills in traditional elements of painting and drawing.  My goal is to join the ongoing and contemporary art conversation and to contribute my unique creativity and enthusiasm to my upcoming MFA program.  

The questions I’m interested in exploring in my work, are how to simplify and artfully interpret what I see and feel?  How will I continue a path to abstraction and expression?  Large canvases and expressive brush strokes interest me.  

I’m interested in ceramics, as well as painting.  I’ve learned the African hand-pull method to build large vases, and I’ve studied, “Anatomy for Sculptors,” for work on figurative sculpture.  I would like to explore this work further. 

My landscape influences include Van Gogh, Monet, and Georgia O’Keeffe, among others.  My newer influences include Maureen Gallace and Richard Diebenkorn. 

My UHH group of students and faculty worked together, largely through our Student Arts Association, to offer a variety of art-related experiences in the college, local community, and nationally.  I’ve made a group of lifetime friends from this experience, and we continue to network and support each other’s efforts as we follow our own paths.

In the coming years, I envision continuing immersion in my studio practice.  I picture myself networking with artist colleagues and being part of connections with the art community.  I’d like to be an artist-in-resident as part of my post-graduate practice.  I’d like viewers to make emotional and inspirational connections with my artwork.  I look forward to the new adventures that await me in my continuing art journey and adventure!