By Cheri Siebken
Cynthia Costello '74 always dreamed of living and painting in France, but it took many moves -- from Minnesota to Galesburg, Boston, then a lengthy stay in New York -- before she crossed the Atlantic and settled into a life where she can paint full time in a tiny village in the south of France.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Costello received her degree in fine arts from Knox, where she developed her skills in art under professor Harland Goudie and French with professor Jay Minn. She continued her studies at Boston University and the Boston Museum School. In 1983 she earned her MFA from Brooklyn College and then studied at the National Academy of Design, the Art Students League, and the National Arts Club in New York.
For 15 years she worked in home furnishings textile design, creating colors and designs for fabric and wallcoverings. In 1994 she became the artistic director for the New York Graphic Society, where she traveled throughout the United States choosing images suitable for publishing art prints, lithographs, and posters from private collections of artists, museums, and galleries.
Twelve years ago, Costello came to St. Tropez, where she was moved by the beautiful light, and decided to settle in the south of France in the tiny village of Plan de la Tour. There she captures in her paintings the daily activities of life in Provence-the cafes, markets, vineyards, beaches, and ports.
"I have painted all my life and am now -- for the first time -- painting full time. I have a studio where I paint in the center of the village and an apartment joined by a lovely terrace. Plan de la Tour is an authentic French village surrounded by vineyards and 10 minutes from the sea. It has a beautiful landscape with tiny enclaves of homes nestled in the hills."
Her work is described as strong in emotion and color, with an often dreamlike quality. "I am interested by color, light, and movement," says Costello. Her paintings are included in numerous private collections in Great Britain, Italy, the United States, and France, and she regularly exhibits and sells her work to numerous private and group exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States.
To learn more about Costello and to view her work, go to www.cynthia-costello.com.