Andrea Zupko Gill was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and grew up between Wyeth country and the Amish communities. They are both still strong influences on her paintings. While completing her BFA at Alfred University in Painting, she taught art on San Salvador, the small Bahamian island. She returned to Pennsylvania to earn her Master’s Degree in Art Education from Kutztown University and continued teaching for the next eight years in public schools and community college. It was during that period that she developed her own style of realistic watercolor paintings.
Andrea began to exhibit locally and was sent to Andrew Wyeth’s framer to have her work professionally prepared. With his encouragement, she was introduced to several regional galleries where her work immediately sold. She began to enter national exhibitions and won many awards including the Most Popular Painting Award at the National Art’s Club Watercolor Show in New York City. Other awards followed including those from the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, Salmagundi Club, American Artist’s Professional League and The Pennsylvania Society of Watercolor Painters.
She relocated to New York City, was invited to become a member of the National Arts Club, served on their exhibition committee and chaired the Student Scholarship Exhibition for many years. During that period, her painting was limited to nights and weekends while she worked in the corporate world and raised her daughter.
Andrea continued to develop as an artist studying at the School of Visual Arts and Graduate School of Figurative Art. She used the city itself as a teacher, visiting galleries and museums to provide the springboard for new approaches and concepts. Forum Gallery introduced her to the work of Wade Schuman and she convinced him to take her on as a private student, learning old master’s techniques of drawing and painting from him. At the Nancy Hoffman gallery, she saw the contemporary, realistic, large-scale watercolors of Carloyn Brady and Joseph Raffael, which had and an immediate impact on her work. It was then that Andrea began to meld traditional oil painting techniques with the dazzling colorist’s styles of these watercolorists to produce her distinctive high-contrast realistic paintings.
Two years ago, Andrea abandoned both city life and corporate work to pursue painting full-time at her studio and home in Kingston, New York. She recently studied watercolor with John Salimen and Mary Whyte and is constantly pushing herself out of her comfort zone by trying new approaches. She feels very blessed to live in the Hudson Valley with her husband Willie, also an artist, and three cats. Andrea says that every day that she paints, feels like her birthday.