Biography

Biography

Alexandra Tyng lives in Philadelphia and has spent summers in Maine since childhood. She began drawing and painting the Maine landscape as a teenager while staying at a nineteenth century rustic camp on one of Mount Desert Island’s lakes, and at her brother’s lighthouse home in Penobscot Bay. In the 1990s she began chartering planes so she could take reference photos of the glacially carved land formations of coastal Maine, which she uses as references to create large-scale paintings. She also paints panoramas from mountaintops, and closer, more intimate views of places. Every summer she spends several weeks painting outside on Mount Desert, Monhegan, Deer Isle, and various other locations. Seen as a whole, her work presents a hierarchy of viewpoints, worlds within worlds. Not only does Alex convey her personal connection to the places she paints, but also she examines the abstract interplay of land and water. Islands in the sea can be seen as the opposite of lakes surrounded by land—or as variations of the same figure-ground relationship. 

Alex has had solo shows in Maine, New York and Philadelphia. She was selected as one of Maine’s outstanding artists by Maine Home+Design in 2008. Her Maine landscapes have been featured on the cover of The Art of Acadia by David and Carl Little, inThe Art of Monheganby Carl Little, and in numerous art periodicals. Her work resides in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, CT, and the Springfield Art Museum in MO. Alex’s paintings can be found in public, corporate and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. 

Her paintings and portraits have garnered many awards. The most notable and recent of these include two 1st Place awards from the Portrait Society of America; Best of Show from the 8th Annual National Figurative Exhibition at the Lore Degenstein Gallery in 2016; the Plein Air Magazine Award from the International ARC Salon in 2015; and the Curator’s Choice Award from America’s Parksin in 2012.  She has also received awards from Allied Artists of America, the Woodmere Art Museum, The Artist’s Magazine, and American Artist Magazine.

Primarily self-taught, Alex chose an academic education over art school, receiving a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania. She taught herself traditional oil painting techniques by examining the work of the old masters, reading about the methods and materials of other artists, and watching artists paint. She has taught classes and workshops in Maine and Philadelphia, and has served on the faculty of the Portrait Society of America. In May of 2019 she will be giving a talk, Visual Storytelling, at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia.

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