Painter Eleanor Sackett's show, "The Extended Family," will be on view at the Loading Dock Gallery through Feb. 24. The subjects of her paintings, ranging in age from two months to 84 years, are all people the artist knows well.

Sackett, who has her studio in one of the artist lofts at Western Avenue, has painted and drawn all her life. However, her full-time training as a painter only began in 2000, with encouragement from a teacher and her husband. She had a "fine traditional art education" at The Ingbretson Studio in Manchester, N.H., under Paul Ingbretson.

"As a very young child, I had extensive classes in watercolor," she says, and recalls doing graded washes in bright colors. Her current work, representational portraits done from life or from photographs, is quite different from her early, abstract efforts.

Painting in oil on canvas, Sackett seeks "to leave a bit of myself behind in each painting. People will look at it and say, 'Yes, that is who she was.'"

During many years in New York City, Sackett spent hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Where you are does influence your art," she says. "For five months now I paint in Greece, where even in the smallest village people revere art."

"The Extended Family" will show in the Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave., second floor in the A Mill, from Wednesday, Jan. 30, until Sunday, Feb. 24. A reception for the artist will be Saturday, Feb.


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2, 5 to 7 p.m., in and around the gallery.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For information about the exhibit, visit www.theloadingdockgallery.com or call 978-710-8605.