Painting through a pandemic: Meet artist Marianne Boucher
Dartmouth resident Marianne Boucher has been painting ever since she was 12 years old. She was introduced to her passion for painting after stumbling into the art studio of her childhood friend’s father.
At that moment, she knew she wanted art to be her life.
Now, she and her husband have transformed her grandfather’s barn on Paquette Drive into a gift shop, The Vintage Barn, which also serves as her studio, and a gallery for her work.
“This whole space used to be filled with cows, and now I have paintings of them in here,” Boucher laughed.
This year marks the gallery’s fifth anniversary, which she commemorated with an exhibition for Aug. 15 and 16 as part of this year’s open studio tour, something she participates in every year.
Normally, residents are invited to visit local artists’ studios in Dartmouth and Westport. But earlier this month, South Coast Artists — the organization that sets up the annual event — had to cancel this year’s open studio tours because of the pandemic.
Though officially cancelled, the organization left it up to the artists to decide if they wanted to continue the exhibitions individually, something Boucher was more than willing to do.
The tours can also be done online by visiting the South Coast Artists website.
“So many things have been cancelled,” she said. “It’s so great to do something.”
Not everything about the pandemic has been bad.
Boucher said this period has given her more time to work on her paintings and spend additional time with her family and dog Bailey, who is also her “painting buddy” and the shop’s unofficial doorman.
She draws much of her inspiration from the landscapes around the South Coast, painting sceneries such as marshes, coastlines, and local farms.
“There’s so much scenery in this area,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to put that on canvas.”
As for her future plans, Boucher said she hopes to convert more of the barn’s space into a gallery, along with expanding its web presence and, of course, continuing with her painting.
“It’s just such a good release in these times,” she said.