Local Painter and Print Maker: Meet Andrea Durfee

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(photos by Meghan Marin of Meghan Marin Photography)

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I’m Andrea Durfee. I was born in Rochester, New York in 1984, I grew up the daughter of an architect and ballet teacher. Dancing, I appreciated the connection with my body and ability to express and feel emotion in a safe and disciplined manner. My art reflects the dynamic between visceral and raw/structure and control.

In creating artwork, I am processing experience through the manifestation of both internal and external conflict. My method reflects this through the conscious creation of a framework, intuitive and emotional application of paint, and identification of fragments using ink to contain and shape. It is my attempt at organizing chaos.

My work has always gravitated toward organic figurative watercolors and prints, often referencing archetypes and myth (both ancient/classical/and self-created).  I see these figures as personification of the tension between opposing emotions and inclinations. Powerful and trapped, benevolent and selfish, peaceful and in mourning, etc… They represent the dynamic tension with our environment, our past, ourselves, and each other.

Tell us what you’re passionate about. What makes you tick?
Creating. It is an unsettling feeling to go too long without creating. Without it (and I have had times I’ve gone without) I feel unbalanced and weighed down. Creating is therapeutic and cleansing and vital for maintaining health.

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(word art by Chloé du Plessis

How did you get started? What were some of the difficulties you faced?
I’ve been drawing and painting since I can remember. The difficulty is trusting others with your artwork and exposing your inner experience and vulnerabilities through displaying it to the public.

What is your biggest regret?
I am cautious of succumbing to regret. Its unhelpful and only deserves a very small amount of indulgence. I see regretful moments instead as an opportunity for learning and growth. For what other reason are we here than to learn and experience (and that includes cringe worthy moments). I am very much a “stick your fork in the outlet” type of person, and learn by experience not hear-say.  And man, those outlets are everywhere I look.

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What is your best advice to someone just starting out? What advice do you wish someone had said to you?
It is going to be difficult, and fun, and miserable, and hilarious, and beautiful, and scary, all mixed up into one fantastic adventure.

What your favorite part of what you do?
I don’t live for the weekends or even tomorrow, and fully appreciate each day.

Who are some of your favorite local creatives?
Rochester is incredible in the number of strong creative women making it happen out there. It creates such a beautifully empowering and supportive energy in this city for which I am unendingly grateful.

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You can see more of Andrea’s work HERE and be sure to visit her ‘Sleeping Giants’ gallery at Makers Studio until May 27.