Ever since I started to think seriously about art as a career I’ve been paralyzed with the notion that I needed to ‘say something’ really socially relevant and important through my work. So paralyzed, in fact, that I went to medical school and became a forensic pathologist at the age of 36. After 10 years in practice at The Office of Chief Medical Examiner in NYC I pulled up stakes and moved upstate to see if I couldn’t once more give painting a go. My way of seeing and painting had drastically changed during my time practicing forensic pathology. After all pathology is a visual medical discipline, “autopsy” literally means to ‘see with one’s own eyes’. My painting had become very detailed and my subject matter… people. And dogs. (I should mention that I really really love dogs). And assorted banal objects. The majority of my commissioned work is portraits of dogs with the rare kid, horse, cat and adult. And then there is my sketchbook…. the major subject of which is portraits of people in the news (American Terrorists, American Politicians…), which is to say faces that most people I know have a hard time looking at. Just as I delved into the study of death and disease and found a sort of monumental beauty inextricably bound to the sometimes repellent, so, too, I spend hours drawing faces that evoke horror and disgust but are nevertheless compelling to look at.
I have just moved back to NYC and retaken my position as a city medical examiner. It seems I have only so much capacity to spend 90% of my time alone with my painting. It was lovely while it lasted, but life gets in the way of dreams sometimes. I’ll continue to paint (and take commissions), but I’ll also continue to have the privilege of being part of the process of science serving justice.

Cricket Coleman

With a unique sensitivity to expression and texture, portrait painter Cricket Coleman uses the delicate medium of watercolor to capture the true spirit of animals large and small. Cricket has been drawing and painting her whole life. After graduating in studio fine arts from Vassar, she followed her fascination with the human condition and embarked on a career in medicine. She completed medical school and had postgraduate training in anatomic and forensic pathology. After ten years as a New York City Medical Examiner, she decided it was time to focus on painting. She moved to upstate New York, where she currently shares a farmhouse with one husband and three dogs. An anatomist and dog lover who’s spent years painting animals and humans, Cricket makes portraits that go beyond the mere depiction of an animal, capturing each creature’s distinct personality and charm.

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The Woolfer Newsletter Team
Stephanie Staal and Nina Collins have worked together and adored each other since 1994 when they were both babies in the world of book publishing. Stephanie is a lawyer, journalist, & author of READING WOMEN, and Nina is the founder of "What Would Virginia Woolf Do?"

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