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Takeyce Walter: Inspired by Morning Mist and Winter Willows

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Water. Its life-giving power literally brings us into this world when we are born, sustains us as we live, and inspires us with its immeasurable beauty in the depth of oceans, flowing rivers, streams and lakes. Contemporary artist Takeyce Walter, who paints the landscape of the Northeast, including the Adirondacks, has always been drawn to the beauty of the outdoors and has never outgrown her love of natural bodies of water.

“My favorite subject to paint is water. I am drawn to rivers, lakes, streams and the ocean. My interest is in the effects of light upon the water, and I never tire of trying to capture it,” she smiled. “I was first introduced to the Adirondacks in 2003 when my family moved to Saratoga County. To learn more about the area, each weekend we would pick a direction and drive. The goal was primarily to discover our new surroundings and have time for family bonding. My first love in the Adirondacks was Chapel Pond.

“I remember the moment I first saw it as if it were yesterday. As we drove along Route 73, I saw sun sparkles glistening like jewels through the trees. We stopped the car, and I was in awe. I felt such a reverence, it was like a religious experience. The mountains reminded me of the Blue Mountains in Jamaica, only more spectacular and grand. They stirred long-forgotten memories I had of my birthplace, yet I had never seen mountains like the ones in the Adirondacks before that moment. It was magical. I found this irresistible urge to paint the beauty I was discovering and share it with others.”

Born in 1980, Takeyce lived in her home country of Jamaica until she was 13. Her mother moved to the United States to find work and better provide for her children. She moved to Long Island, New York, while Takeyce and her older sister stayed and attended schools in Jamaica. Being away from her mother was difficult, though she visited her during summer vacations.

Takeyce’s older sister moved to the U.S. after high school graduation to attend college and live with her mother and new younger sister. Tragically, she died at age 19, prompting Takeyce to make the move to the U.S. to be with her mother and younger sister.

Although losing her sister and navigating a new environment was difficult, she found solace in art and science classes, where she excelled in her studies. She enjoyed painting murals at school and making new friends, many of whom she is still connected to today.

Her first son, Tristan, came early in her world, when she was a young girl, aged 16. Her drive to succeed became even more intense. “Even though it was tremendously difficult being a single teen-aged parent, I was especially motivated to complete my education not only as a responsibility to myself, but for my child. I worked to put myself through select college courses before accepting a full-time job in the field I am still currently working in,” she explained.

She met her husband, Dan, in 1999, and was welcomed into a loving, supportive family. They lived on Long Island and worked in New York City, but found they were always seeking outdoor spaces to recharge and reconnect with nature. After September 11, 2001, they made the decision to move to a more idealized locale to raise a family; two years later they settled on the Albany area, as her husband was familiar with the area from his family’s summer trips to Ulster County during his childhood.

“One winter day, we took a road trip to check out the area in more detail and fell in love with Saratoga County. We moved the following spring,” she reiterated. “We bought our house in 2007 and couldn’t be happier with our decision. Each day I’m inspired by Round Lake, which our house overlooks, and the surrounding marshland. The sunrise has made me, a perpetual night owl, more of an early riser, as I love the effect of the sun as it reaches across the marsh, waking the vegetation, and water like strings of golden lights being illuminated. I am also inspired by the many artist and women friends whom I’ve connected with through the years. My family and husband are my biggest supporters and continue to encourage me to do what I love.”

Other inspiration is drawn from her experiences. At age 15, a book on Claude Monet introduced her to this painter who captured dappled light on water, and she was drawn to his use of color. Later, a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City exposed her to John Henry Twachtman’s work. One particular painting, Arques-la-Bataille, stopped her in her tracks. This is when she decided she wanted to learn to convincingly paint water.

And paint she does! In the mid-2000s, she made a commitment to finishing at least one painting a week and in 2005 she began blogging to help track her progress. She has maintained that commitment and she’s currently producing art on a prolific basis. In addition to exhibiting her paintings online, she also exhibits in regional galleries in the Northeast. Her art has found homes in many private collections across the country and internationally, as well as a local museum and hospital collections. Her art can be found at Clement Art Gallery, Troy, New York; Departure, Albany International Airport; McCartee’s Barn, Salem, New York; Kettlewell & Edwards, Saratoga Springs, New York; The Shop at Saratoga Arts, Saratoga Springs, New York; Silverwood, Saratoga Springs, New York; the Laffer Gallery, Schuylerville, New York and the Vischer Ferry General Store, Rexford, New York. She also had a solo show called Reflections in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, in October 2017 at the Adirondack Lake Arts Center.

Where does Takeyce find solace to paint? Her She Shed! It was a labor of love, perched on a little ridge overlooking the marshes of Round Lake, which is a constant source of inspiration. “My husband and father-in-law did an amazing job making it perfect for me. I could not have done it without their help, and the advice of other artist friends who’ve done similar projects,” she assured.

This talented artist is a testament to dedication and perseverance, and her three children see it every day. Tristan is now 21; her daughter, Emma, is eight and youngest son, Lucas, is seven. She notes that all are creative in their own ways. Tristan enjoys writing and is currently living and attending college out of state. Emma enjoys reading, writing, swimming and science, while little Lucas is a sports guy. He also likes writing and has co-authored and illustrated books with his sister.

Takeyce is a blend of artist, art instructor, media producer, board member, Girl Scout troop co-leader, mother, wife, friend, sister and daughter. “Finding time to balance it all can be challenging, to say the least,” she admits. “I am always learning and adjusting to make it all work. Often, I get too little sleep, but I am thriving and my family is well. I am fortunate to have a strong support system and a job as a media producer that is virtually free of high-stress. It enables me to come home and still have energy to focus on my art, family and self. I also have had to learn when to say ‘no’ and when to say ‘yes.’”

She found her love of teaching in 2014 when she held a solo show at Mimosa Gallery on Broadway in Saratoga Springs. Michelle LaLonde, gallery director, facilitated a monthly program that coincided with exhibitions called Meet Me at Mimosa. Exhibiting artists were invited to give an Artist Talk or demonstration of their techniques. Takeyce enjoyed providing step-by-step instructions for her audience, and loved the great discussion and engagement that came from the experience. Since then, she has taught a variety of workshops in oil and pastel painting techniques, plus practice and theory at a variety of locales, including some private lessons in her home studio.

Takeyce had thoughtful words for women desiring to follow their dreams as she has. “I think women are amazing beings. We can accomplish so much, we give birth, we are caretakers, we are professionals, we are pillars in our communities, and we can also take time to follow our own passion. My advice to others seeking time to follow their dreams is this: Stay connected with like-minded people. Many times, we do not need to reinvent the wheel; many women have already paved the way for us and are generous enough to share their experiences. Take time each day to work toward your goal. Write down your goals and set small milestones that are realistic. Also include a milestone that seems outrageous. During moments when other life priorities take hold, don’t give up on your dream. It’s okay to hit the pause button, because moments of setbacks are inevitable. Learn from them and move on. Be in the moment; appreciate the time away as equally important as the time spent pursuing your goals.”

To take these words to heart, we need to dig deep inside ourselves and, as she does, find a way to challenge ourselves each day, whether that is to write a few words down on paper, take photos, snuggle your baby, call a friend, go for a walk and see our world or try a new recipe. Life is creative, if we make it that way.

For more information, visit or find her on Facebook.

Takeyce has two events scheduled in the next year in addition to her gallery showings.

“Catching the Light” debuts at the historic Salem Courthouse at 58 East Broadway in Salem, New York. The show runs through April 4 with an opening reception on March 2 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The exhibition features many recent paintings inspired by the beautiful landscape surrounding her. It also includes small pastels from her daily painting project; Creative February. 

In fall 2019, Takeyce is looking forward to her first exhibition in Connecticut at the Windsor Art Center. This will be a group show with local artists Stephen Tyson and Francelise Dawkins, co-curated by Stanwyck Cromwell and Andre Rochester.