Painter Madison White is only fifteen years old, yet she is already planning to enjoy something that most artists only dream about: seeing her work in a gallery exhibition. Starting on August 10 of 2017, Madison’s paintings will be on display at Gallery 45 at “The White House” tea shop in Oakhurst, New Jersey. The show will be on view through September 2017.

Madison holds the honorable distinction of being the youngest artist ever to exhibit artwork at the gallery, and the solo show will feature many of her mixed-media creations that are inspired by animals, people, music, nature, and even commonplace items like rugs and tea.

Madison’s work is a whimsical homage to the beauty that can be found in everyday things and she considers the stars and the sea to be especially influential to her work. Already attending classes at Kean University focused on creative thinking, Madison is preparing herself for a career in the arts, and she can seamlessly translate her emotions, moods, and imagination onto canvas via the strokes of a paintbrush.

Madison recently discussed her forthcoming exhibition, artistic muses, and much more via an exclusive interview.

Art, inspiration, and technique

Meagan Meehan (MM): What prompted you to start creating artwork and which mediums do you enjoy most?

Madison White (MW): I was sitting around in complete boredom at the age of nine, and I decided just to start drawing.

I began by copying characters from shows that I liked. This evolved into me improving on myself and trying out different forms of art that weren't just sketching in a notebook. I eventually developed (and am still developing) my own art style. The mediums I enjoy most are acrylic and watercolor. When I paint with acrylics, I feel very bold and energetic because of the way the paint consistency is and the way I hold my brush.

When I paint with watercolors, I feel more peaceful because of the softer brush strokes and the overall technique.

MM: How many pieces of art have you completed thus far and do you do have any favorites?

MW: I have completed over one-hundred pieces of art, and a lot are drawings. My favorite piece is “The Persian Rug” since the painting took me over fourteen hours to complete and I formed a connection to it.

MM: You are very skilled at rendering very life-like animals, so are animals a big source of inspiration for you?

MW: I love nature and being outdoors. When I paint animals, it's very enjoyable because animals are very metaphorical. If you had a different animal in a different setting, it would make you feel a different way. It's interesting to hear the different interpretations people have of my work.

MM: Generally, what are your biggest sources of inspiration?

MW: I look up to my mom a lot. Even though I do fine art and she does industrial design, she's a huge role model and inspiration because she's been doing something she loves for over twenty years and she still has a passion for what she does.

Exhibitions, tea, and the future

MM: You have your debut art show coming up, so can you explain a bit about the venue and how you secured a spot in the show?

MW: Some friends took me out for tea--and I am a very big fan of tea. As I was browsing the teas I said under my breath "this would be a good tea to drink while I paint" and Kirsten, the owner of The White House, heard and I showed her my art, and she thought it would be a great idea to have a show.

MM: What are some of your absolute favorite things about being an artist?

MW: The fact that there are no rules that stop my creativity. If I think of something or feel something, I put that on my canvas/ paper.

MM: Aside from art, do you have any other hobbies or special interests?

MW: I love being outside, going on hikes, and going to the beach, which inspires my art. I am a huge fan of food, so I enjoy cooking/baking very much. I am also a lover of music and records.

I prefer listening to records over the radio.

MM: What events are forthcoming for you and would you like to mention anything else?

MW: I attended an art program at Kean University. I explored different types of art and career options like; architecture, industrial design and interior design which I'll keep in mind for the future.

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“Life, Imagined” will be on view from August 10 through September 30, 2017, on the second floor (“Gallery 45”) of the Tea House on 45 Monmouth Road in Oakhurst, New Jersey. The gallery is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11 am to 6 pm or via appointment.

The official opening of the show is on Thursday, August 10, from 5:30 pm to 7 pm and Madison will be hosting a workshop in the gallery from 3 pm to 5 pm on Friday, September 8.

Admission to the exhibition and the workshop are both free.

To learn more, Google “Tea 4 U” and “The White House in Oakhurst, New Jersey.”

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