About the Artist

  

Painting back when I was still teaching

 

 

 

 

 

Not Central America, actually just a river near my home in Florida

Timber Bamboo

 

Deck construction for an outdoor shower

 

 

 

 

 

Wetlands Park in Christmas, FL

 

 

          

       I was born in Columbus, Ohio, grew up in Central Florida, and finished high school in Springfield, Virginia.  I earned a BA from Boston University  and a Masters from Columbia University in New York City.   For over twenty years I worked as an art teacher in Warsaw,  Amsterdam and in the United States until I gave up teaching in 1999, to concentrate on my own painting.  I  now make my home with my husband and two cats in Orlando, Florida, but my passion for painting and travel has taken me to locations as exotic as Japan, Eastern Europe, and the jungles of Central America.

   

         Prior to moving back to Florida in 2004, we lived in Kansas City for five years where I kept a studio in the West Bottoms in an old seven-storey brick and timber warehouse called the Hobbs Building.  There were only about twelve artists working there when I came, but our numbers grew to over thirty-five by the time I left in 2004.  Besides doing my own painting, in what now seems a palatial studio space, I devoted a lot of my time to making the Hobbs Building into an "art destination" for the art viewing public.   We opened the building to the public at  Open Studio events that  I organized, regularly bringing  up to 1,200 people through our studios in a single evening.   For three years in a row, during the spring Open Studios, I ran a wildly popular juried art show called "The Grand Nude" in the first floor gallery. 

 

 

   The Hobbs Building Gallery Space  

(on exhibit: The Grand Nude Show 2001)

 

The Hobbs Building

My studio was located just above the word "Hobbs" on the fourth floor

 

 

 

FLORIDA 2004 - Present

 

          Life has become far less frenetic since moving into a bungalow on a lake in Florida.  Gone are the maintenance- free days of our downtown KC loft overlooking the Missouri River.   Besides the ongoing renovation of the bungalow,    there is also something I call "jungle gardening", which requires constant bushwhacking on the property's three acre site.  A couple of stands of timber bamboo were growing on the property when we bought it.  Since then, I have joined the  American Bamboo Society and added another dozen clumping varieties to the grounds.  In the summer of 2006, I spent a week in Tennessee attending a bamboo workshop to learn  to harvest and construct with bamboo.   It has become my new medium for plein air expression.

 

   In the latest stage of renovations I have acquired a new studio space and am gradually  expanding my painting endeavors in the Orlando area.  I continue to accept commission work, which includes house portraits for military families posted at Fort Leavenworth, but also local residences in Florida now as well.

 

Our bamboo front gate

 

     The abundance of my favorite subject matter has been one of the most wonderful aspects of living again in Florida.  Water reflections, abundant wild life, exotic flora abound right outside my back door.  For many months out of the year, the weather permits me to paint outside.  It is such a pleasure to take my watercolors and a sketchbook out to a beautiful location and spend a few hours interpreting a scene with loose flowing dabs of color. 

 

St. John's River in Osteen, FL

 

(To the left) Our dock, aka, my plein air studio

Rebecca Wilkinson Studio
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