Abigail Drapkin is an oil painter based in San Francisco. Originally from Maine, she studied painting at Brandeis University in Boston and at Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in France. Abigail’s work has appeared in group shows and solo showcases. Her oil paintings explore narrative portraiture within intimate settings and surreal natural landscapes. She currently teaches drawing and painting to children and adults.
To create my narrative scenes, I digitally assemble double-exposures from photographic references, adding transparent figures to vacant landscapes and layering sequential images to express movement. When the painting process begins, I stay true to realistic light, shadow, and proportion but allow thick brushwork, saturated color, and drippy glazes to reign. The outcome is often more expressionistic than realistic: I incorporate gold leaf or collage and leave traces of underlying drawings. After hours spent painting individual hairs or patterns on fabric, my hand reaches for the looseness of the palette knife. At times, I dissect scenes with thin horizontal edges, a subtle nod to the scene’s photographic origins.. Each piece evokes an elusive narrative—a compilation of dreams and memories. I set the stage in cities, intimate interiors, and natural environments inspired by the California landscape, urban travel, and my childhood home in rural Maine. Fragmented bodies and blurred drags of wet paint represent both movement and a surreal psychological world in which anything is possible—a girl with two heads and four arms, a giant woman juxtaposed against a miniature city, or a face transparent to its inner thoughts
1101 Lake Street at 12th Avenue
San Francisco CA 94118