Artist, Writer, Educator
Thank you for visiting my website. Here you can learn about my writing, my art, and a little about me 🙂
I’m a retired English and Creative Writing teacher who earned my MFA in creative writing from Carlow University, and published my first book, “Greek Lessons: A Cultural Odyssey.” I say first book, because I am hard at work writing my second book, a novel. Stay tuned for more information on this!
I am an artist who has worked primarily in oils for the past ten years, but I have recently begun experimenting with watercolors. It’s a whole different ball game, but I’m enjoying working with brushes, water, and paper in lieu of a palette knife, linseed oil, and canvas – for now! I was one of three high school student members of the West Hills Art League decades ago, and I remain a member today. I’ve recently been accepted into the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh.
Please scroll down the page to learn about my art and writing, and to read my Artist’s Statement and Writer’s Thoughts. I’d also love to hear from you – my contact information is at the bottom of the page.
Experiments in Watercolor
Featured Artwork – Places, People, Pets (and some Produce!)
My Writing and Art
Greek Lessons: A Cultural Odyssey
“The fascination of this book is its richly detailed evocation of Greek immigrant life across he generations in America, combined with alluring return journeys of discovery to Greece. The lives of those who moved to America, and those who stayed put in their ancestral homeland, are lovingly evoked in a richly rewarding and highly personal account of daily life and social history…a vivid and original celebration of what it means to be Greek.”
Brian Leyden, Author of The Home Place
Writing Classes and Workshops
It has been my pleasure to teach creative writing and English as a career. In addition to educating university students and secondary students, I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring adult writers, editing manuscripts, developing and teaching creative writing workshops to both young writers and adults, and creating and teaching a business writing workshop to the US Coast Guard. I am available to tailor a workshop for your group,
My short story, Nature’s Bounty, was inspired by an NPR story on the senseless slaughter of wolves in the Northwest. It was featured in wolfmatters.org. http://www.wolfmatters.org/blog/short-story-art-by-rita-wilson
My poetry has been published in Riverspeak and Voices in the Attic.
Recent publications include an essay in the 100 Lives Anthology, and an upcoming non-fiction piece in the Anthology, “Conversations.” I am currently working on my second full-length book, a novel.
Art Awards and Exhibits
My artwork has won awards (Best of Show, Third Place, People’s Choice) at the annual West Hills Art League juried art show, and the PTI Educators Show, and has been juried into the Merrick Gallery and published in Rune Literary Magazine. One-person shows include Divitias Gallery and Anchor and Anvil. My most recent exhibition was City Home, a cooperative endeavor of four local artists featuring the concept of Pittsburgh and Home.
My commissions have varied from cherished pets to a ship where an engaged couple first met, to a favorite sports legend, a doorway, an antique portrait, and a modernistic nude. I would be happy to talk to you about creating a piece of original art for you.
My immersion in art begins with the vision of shapes and contrasts and the challenge of composition and progresses to the tactile joy of mixing color on the palette. I’ve learned to understand objects as shapes and shadows, and I take pleasure in transforming photos, ideas, or three-dimensional objects into visual interpretations on canvas. Using a palette knife allows me the freedom of experimentation, moving the paint on the canvas, changing direction, scratching, blending, until I am satisfied with my creation. I mix my colors from a basic palette and work within this minimal palette to create a rich spectrum of colors. My art reflects the passion and personality of the people and places that I paint.
The process of writing for me is not far removed from the process of painting. In each, there is the question of composition. In writing, it’s taking words, thoughts, expressions, stories, and ideas, and moving the words on the page to form a cohesive, interesting story. Just as I take pleasure in transforming ideas into a visual interpretation, I also take pleasure in transforming ideas and thoughts into narrative.
Get in Touch
Check out the “Greek Lessons” facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GREEK-Lessons-1046862285412703/ for updates and posts.