A Washington DC native, Aletha Kuschan is a fine artist who is equally adept at using acrylic and oil paints. Her artwork develops from drawings which she makes using a wide variety of media. The drawing media that she routinely uses include colored pencil, Neocolor crayons, Neopastels, dry pastels, watercolor, pen and ink, and graphite.

Her artwork ranges widely in subjects as well. Most of her art focuses on still life and landscape, but she has extensive experience with portraits, figures, and portrayals of animals. One aspect of her art deals with narrative or symbolic images – pictures that combine elements of representation with design and which are somewhat like medieval manuscript or Baroque emblematic illustrations enlarged into a grand scale.

She has studied art history extensively, mostly as a practicing artist but sometimes also in the company of professional art historians. Her own strongest area of art historical knowledge focuses around artists active in 19th century France, people such as Delacroix, Ingres, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Redon and others. Among modern masters she has been especially influenced by Matisse, Bonnard and Richard Diebenkorn.

She has exhibited locally at Marlboro Gallery, Harmony Hall and other regional venues and has artworks in both public and private collections. She has also curated exhibits and taught classes to students of all ages. She has degrees in English literature and in Studio Art from University of Maryland. Over the years, beginning in her youth, Aletha has spent innumerable hours in the National Gallery of Art, and she is always eager to share her experience of this amazing world-class resource with fellow artists.
At Yellow Barn, she teaches a pencil drawing class that delves into the purest of fundamentals – shape, form and arrangement. She also teaches classes on invention where artists can analytically explore color and pictorial design.

These courses provide especially good opportunities for students to reinforce their sense of the relationship between the picture’s parts and the whole. An artist will understand a motif more keenly after having spent time taking images apart and putting them back together again.

Through such forms of art practice, student artists gain a keener sensibility about the visual world, one that engages emotion, intellect and – perhaps most of all – their imagination and curiosity.