Kissing Skaneateles

Easters have been tickling Skaneateles' funny bone for three generations, with a fourth generation currently attending Skaneateles Central Schools.

The latest embodiment of this Easter tradition is Hetty Rodes Easter. She is Dave's daughter, Ann's granddaughter and Henry and Haas' mom.

Hetty is living in one of the family's former homesteads, a 150 year old farmhouse in the town of Skaneateles. The largest room in the house has not one but two fireplaces. Hetty, a fine arts painter, has transformed this living space into her studio. She actually prefers to paint outside, onsite, which is called en plein air (the term is French) but she also spends time inside toiling away at studies, portraits and finishing touches. A visit to her studio is at once relaxing and a bit overwhelming at the sheer magnitude of work she has going.

"Through her paintings, Hetty explores the space between stillness and motion. With the stroke of the brush, she captures the moment of inspiration. Her work is not guided by genre as much as by the quickening of her pulse. She gratefully explores the globe and her own inspirational corner of it ... beautiful upstate New York, for new and fresh discoveries," from the website hreaster.com.

Formal education

After she earned a double degree at Syracuse University - one in surface pattern design and one in fashion design - she made her way to New York City to work as a designer in the fashion and home furnishings industry.

Once her two sons were born, she rekindled a childhood interest in painting that was inspired by her Grandmother Anne Easter. Painting has become not only a passion but her life's work.

While downstate, she studied figure drawing, painting and portraiture at New York City's prestigious Art Students League.

Her mediums

She creates with charcoals, watercolors and oils on many different surfaces including paper, board and canvas. Her strength is in her selection of subject matter and use of color. She thinks in color, shadow and light. It is perhaps her first language.

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