"In making art, I celebrate the power of beauty and communicate the energy of joy," Durkee writes in her artist statement.
Words are certainly useful in conveying abstract thoughts. Durkee spent her formal education steeped in language. The Rutland-area native earned her Bachelors degree in English Literature from Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y. and went on to earn her Masters from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Durkee spent her first career as a journalist, editor, speech writer and teacher at such organizations as The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U. N. Environment Program in Geneva, Switzerland.
While working in Washington, D.C. and in Europe, Durkee spent her free time viewing art. She began painting in 1980 and studied art with Washington, D.C. artist Debra Stern Nicholas.
In 2001, after several writing careers, Durkee moved back to Vermont to be near her family and to do her art full time. Now her favorite method of communication is through her artwork.
"Color is a vital means of communication. It contains energy, information, emotion," Durkee said.
Her home is a perfect place for art making. It was built in the 1800s, and in its history, it was used as a 13-cow milk barn.
"My studio has a sliding glass door and a deck and a view of the Green Mountains," Durkee said. "All of that nature is in my work: the shapes of nature, the mountains." But she is careful to note that she doesn't attempt to paint the things exactly as she sees them as many other artists do.
"I don't paint from the outside. I paint from the inside," Durkee said.
Join Durkee, Placella, and the community's art enthusiasts for the opening of this exhibit at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15 at Equinox Village. The opening is free and open to the public. Call 802-362-4061 to R.S.V.P. The exhibit will remain on display until Monday, Jan.14.