Artisans + Crafters: Dru Pilmer

Mar 12, 2019 | Artisans

Dru Pilmer has been creating art ever since she was a child and could, as she says, “hold anything in my hand.” Her first commissioned work was when she was just 16, painting a mural for the geriatric ward of the Mississippi State Mental Hospital.

She detoured away from painting, studying theater in college and touring as an actor. She’s taught at the university level and has worked as a voice coach for TV talent but says she always planned to come back to her art. Her first pieces were watercolor portraits, but Dru now finds pleasure in creating abstract expressionist acrylic paintings where, she explains, “the emotional connection is the focus over realistic resemblances.” Her paintings are about color, emotion, and movement of energy. She creates her pictures using a technique called ‘sgraffito,’ an Italian word meaning ‘scratched away.’ Marks are made by scraping through wet paint, and the beauty comes from revealing the contrasting layers underneath.

Dru’s work is displayed in more than 87 public, private, and corporate locations worldwide. Her pieces can be found locally in New Albany, Indiana, at the ArtSeed Gallery and in Louisville at The Champagnery, plus in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Internationally, her work is displayed in Canada, Scotland, and South America. Dru has had many experiences throughout her art career but says one that really thrilled her was when she was contacted by a film studio representative who asked to use her art in a feature film starring actor Gabriel Byrne. “The negotiations stalled after a budget adjustment, but I was so honored just to be asked,” she says.

Dru’s work will be on display at her show titled “Moving Through,” which runs through April 5 at the ArtSeed Gallery in New Albany.

Extra tidbit: Why this artist likes to “scare the crap out of the people.”