Born and raised in northern Illinois, Emily’s artistic quest began as early as her love for the woods, nature, and their quiet sense of connection. Twenty nine years later, this cocktail of passions has matured into the backbone of her existence. From the Midwest, to New England where she achieved her BFA in painting and a greater appreciation for the outdoors, to Colorado where these life-long pursuits find a growing sense of harmony and potential, Palmquist continues to practice painting and the art of rural life as her guide from here to there. Emily just moved back to Colorado and is showing her work for the month of March in Gallery 81435.

We asked Emily to answer a few questions:

Flavor? Honey, Honey

Favorite city? Chicago, as it played a large part in bringing up the artist in me as a child, taking the train in to dream with my old friends at the Art Institute and memorize the streets that I then envisioned playing some part in my future.  Alas I haven’t devoted enough of my adult life to exploring city life to haven't found one to replace the special fascination, anticipation, and beckoning that Chicago once filled me with.

Currently reading? Just finished “A Glimpse of Nothingness” by Janwillam van de Wetering.

Recent dream? Set in the middle of a harvested field of corn, two boats of different shapes towing in opposite directions, but tied to one another and held still.

Inspiration? The constant transformation of a landscape, a personal search for balance in all things, painting for someone or with someone in mind.

Fascination? Chickens! Everything from the morning a hen lays her first egg (and what color it is?!) to the social standing of a rooster, I find it all so theatrical. They are such fragile creatures, yet regularly offer up the utmost example of resilience. I have learned so many lessons from keeping a flock where I can.

Show? I have never been so excited to share a body of work. While a couple pieces were near finished or in progress when I signed up for this show last November, the majority were started and finished in the last three months. Asking myself to produce this quickly demands a level of focus as well as detachment. There isn’t a lot of time to second guess or even premeditate. I’ve let one thought lead to another, left myself open to whatever dreams or memories chose to stick, and the result is “Home Fire.”

San Juan activity? While I cherish hiking and the incredible trail-riding I’ve done in the area, I have to say living on the mesa is my biggest connection to this land. It is truly a gift to have such a front row seat to nature’s display.

Recent endeavor? I moved back to Colorado this fall after spending a random year and a half in Connecticut. I bought a small utility trailer off Craigslist to haul my damn stretcher bars and studio furniture. My best friend since second grade flew out from the Midwest to help me, my dog, and two cats make the drive. She kept the critters calm while I manned my 35-year-old Jeep Cherokee. At the end of each day, we smuggled the animals and a litter box into the backdoors of hotels, jay-walked until we found margaritas, and longed for the hot springs of Colorado. We cried we laughed so hard. I slammed the hood too hard and had to ratchet-strap the sucker down in a snow storm. The jeep nearly gave up its ghost on every mountain pass. Alas we rattled up the mesa road and made history together.

What's next? I’ve already got new paintings in mind. With all of this momentum, my instinct is to just keep painting. But I am also looking forward to sheering off my mesa hermit hat and enjoying a more social and adventurous spring and summer. Perhaps a bit a both.

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