Audrey Cushman

I am new to the field of plein air painting, and I am excited to participate in my first plein air event in my hometown, New Bern! Davidson College and UNC-Chapel Hill prepared me for a career as a school counselor, but I developed a stronger passion for the arts when I became a mother in 2010. My goal as a painter is to shed light on the beauty in the world around us. Often what catches my eye is as simple as the fleeting light on an object. I am inspired by the marshes, sailboats, pine trees, beaches, tobacco barns, and farmlands that surround me in eastern NC.



I grew up with a large extended family that celebrated the arts. Family gatherings were filled with painters, musicians, writers, photographers, chefs, a potter, and a glass blower. I was most drawn to the visual arts, inspired by my aunt and grandfather, and I began painting at a young age.

After receiving degrees from Davidson College and UNC-Chapel Hill, my first career was working with children as a Professional School Counselor. I realized that I have a stronger calling for the arts when I became a mother in 2010, and I have been studying and painting ever since. I began painting with watercolors, focusing primarily on portraits of children. Recently, I switched to oils and have developed a passion for painting outdoors with a portable easel in the “plein air” tradition.

I am grateful for the instruction and mentoring that I have received from artists James Richards, Matt Smith, Scott Christensen, Sadie Valeri, Mary Whyte, Peggi Habets, Mario Robinson, Jill Eberle, and Ed Macomber. I am a member of Oil Painters of America, the American Impressionist Society, the Coastal Plein Air Painters of NC., and the Twin Rivers Artists Association. I was juried into the Watercolor Society of NC Annual Exhibition in 2019, and I have received recognition and awards in local shows. In 2022 I received an award for “Sunday Sunlight” in the Plein Air New Bern Quick Paint competition, and I was invited to participate in PANB 2023 as a featured artist.

My paintings can be purchased through my website and at The Last Detail in downtown New Bern, North Carolina.

Artist Statement

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