The Coast News Group
Painter Connie McCoy with her abstract landscape titled “Red Aire” on exhibit at L Street Fine Art Jan. 5 to Feb. 15. Courtesy photo
A Brush with Art

Painter captures nature’s drama


Connie McCoy is thankful every day that she has the ability and enthusiasm to paint. According to McCoy, “The desire to paint is a gift. No one can be as happy as an artist lost in their work.” She never misses an opportunity to express her gratitude, not only for the ability to see the beauty that surrounds her, but also for the ability to convey it through her paintings.After earning a B.S. degree in advertising and graphic design through the rigorous program at University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, the native of Seymour, Ind. spent her early career in Cincinnati, Ohio working with some of its major advertising and design agencies.

In 1978 she relocated to San Diego when recruited by a leading advertising agency and later established her own firm. Known for her design skills, art direction, and marketing awareness, McCoy received numerous prominent awards as an accomplished design professional.

Although McCoy kept fine art on a back burner during much of her commercial art career, she never fully abandoned it. In 1998 she established her studio in Rancho Santa Fe and began painting with a vengeance, studying under notable realist painters Sebastian Capella and Jeff Watts.

In recent years McCoy found that loosening her style while exploring abstract landscapes freed her to achieve boldness and unlimited expression in her work. She says abstract painting allows her to be “more in the right side of the brain, which is a wonderful place to play and perform.”

McCoy frequently juxtaposes analogous colors of equal value, a technique that she attributes to the Impressionists. Her paintings often convey vibrant intensity as their colors transition from hot pink to fiery red to bright orange.

She comments, “I think it is necessary that the surface of a painting talk to you,” therefore using various glazes, media, and palette knife to integrate texture into her work.

Using many years of travel to unspoiled areas of the world as inspiration, McCoy captures atmospheric variety in her paintings. Using nature’s dramatic lighting as a point of departure, McCoy states, “I am triggered by lighting and the air currents that cause magnificent patterns of color that are refreshing and restorative to the soul.”

Threatened with blindness for several years, a terrible fate for a painter, McCoy underwent numerous surgeries to repair detached retinas. Without knowing what the outcome would be, she began studying sculpture to continue creating artwork using only her sense of touch. However, with vision now significantly restored, she dedicates each day to creating her breathtaking abstract landscapes, about which she says, “I don’t worry about not seeing little details anymore.”

She says of the painting phenomenon, “We all see differently and therefore interpret the world differently. There is room for constant growth which is great for the body, the soul and the mind.”

Connie McCoy’s most recent paintings will be on exhibit at L Street Fine Art in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter with an opening reception Jan. 5. The exhibit runs through Feb. 15.

For more information about the artist, visit