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Meet Andrea Snyder

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Snyder.  

Hi Andrea, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’ve always loved art and drawing. Art was always my favorite subject in school. I studied architecture and interior design in college, earning a degree in interior design, but my favorite part of the work was always doing the hand drawings and renderings. Unfortunately, CAD drawing was becoming more common and hand-drawn designs weren’t being used when I entered my first interior design job, and my artwork took a backseat for over 15 years while I worked for various employers and in many different positions, both in and out of the design world. When I left the workforce, I was able to start drawing again, and I decided to learn how to paint—specifically watercolors. I’d always loved the medium, and how expressive it can be because the pigment can be as solid or translucent as you want it! I started teaching myself watercolor painting in 2019, and have been learning and improving ever since. I’m now working to try and make this into a business for myself by offering commissions for homes and buildings, and I have some art prints and other merchandise featuring my artwork up at Marblehead Lighthouse. My passion is historic buildings—private homes and public buildings. The design, details, and workmanship of these places is unlike anything that is built today. I love to try and capture the history and character of these places, because some of them don’t exist anymore, having been lost to time, decay, or demolition. I really believe it’s important to save and remember the history of these places, as well as the people whose lives were intertwined with these structures because once they’re gone, that’s it. I paint many places that I’ve visited personally or want to visit in the future, too. I’ve done several paintings of historic buildings and sites in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. I’m currently working on a poster-sized painting of the German Village in Columbus, which is a great historic area. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It’s not been a smooth road! It’s been up and down. Building a following and getting my artwork seen has been a struggle at times, and it’s a learning process. However, I’ve met some wonderful people and supporters through social media, which has been great, and I’m thankful to have a really supportive husband, who also encourages me. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I do all kinds of house and building paintings, but I specialize in and gravitate towards subjects that are mostly focused on historic structures, usually homes. Many of them are well-known places and sites, such as Mt. Vernon, George Washington’s personal residence, and Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s main personal residence. Those are two of my favorite paintings. I have found that people really enjoy the amount of detail I include in my paintings, and my watercolors tend to be bolder and more vibrant than a typical watercolor painting. I think that both of these elements set me apart from other watercolor artists. I’ve even used two of my paintings to raise funds for organizations—the first fundraiser benefited the owners of a historic house that was struck by lightning during restoration and burned to the ground, and the other is an ongoing fundraiser for a historic property in Pennsylvania that is in danger of being lost due to neglect. I’m so proud to be able to help others with my artwork! I also offer home portrait commissions, and last Christmas, I took orders for house portraits and then printed the paintings on Christmas cards. People loved seeing a painting of their home on their Christmas cards that they sent out to family and friends. An added bonus for me is just knowing how much people love their paintings…it makes me so happy to know that something I created brings someone else joy! 

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Patience! And perseverance. Learning an art form takes time. Some people are born with an ability to do a specific thing and do it well without practice, but most of us have to work and practice to get better, and I’m the latter. Because it’s something that I enjoy doing and want to do, practice comes easily, and I can look back and see improvement over the past three years. Perseverance is required to keep going, because I’ve tried to get my artwork into many places, and received a lot of “no thanks” answers. Eventually, though, I started getting “yes, we’d like to have your work in our shop”, and I know that if I’d given up after the first few nos, that would never have happened. If something is important, then you can’t just give up after a few negative answers or reviews—you have to keep trying, and find your niche/place in the world. It’s there; you just have to keep looking until you find it! 

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