Andrew Moore, In the Garden (detail), oil on linen, 28 x 52 inches.


Piece of Work: Andrew Moore

"I essentially create a world in the painting that is part real and part imagined, a mix of concrete and memory."

I essentially create a world in the painting that is part real and part imagined, a mix of concrete and memory.

Painting started as Andrew Moore’s summer gig while studying architecture at the University of Virginia. But that part-time pursuit – four years of contributions to August shows at the Old Sculpin Gallery in Edgartown – soon turned into his full-time job. Each year, he was named one of the top-ten sellers, a designation that meant his earnings surpassed $750. “I did some quick math one summer and calculated, after deducting framing costs, that I was making 25 cents an hour,” he said. “It was a start.”

By the time Moore graduated, he knew he would head directly back to the Vineyard to paint. But he didn’t leave his academic training behind. In the almost four decades since, Moore has developed a distinctive style characterized by months of compositional planning before he ever sets brush to canvas. The results are meticulously crafted works that sit somewhere between painting, photography, and collage.

“The way I go about painting is more like the method an architect uses when designing a building. Most of my paintings begin with an idea that can be reduced into a very simple parti – or organizational principle – in my case a small sketch. I develop that idea, enrich it, expand it, but always refer back to it when proceeding in the many phases of a painting.”

Moore’s 2021 work In the Garden, at left, exemplifies this approach, placing the viewer in a lush dahlia garden whose opulence exists just past the realm of belief. He began work on it in February 2020, sensing a need for color amid the winter gloom and, later, pandemic. Both his children, also artists, had moved home due to Covid, and the house became “one big studio” where Moore could draw inspiration. This newfound artist collective even prompted him to transform his home gallery, where he has long showed his work, into a shared one: this summer, the Moore Family Gallery will feature art by himself and his children.

One of those children, daughter Hannah, is this painting’s subject and a source of inspiration. “Ultimately,” he said, “the painting is about the peace that nature provides.”      

To view more of Moore’s work, go to