Beth Dacey

Boston, MA 021213 Beth Dacey (Cq) photographed at her SOWA studio on February 12, 2013 for the upcoming 25 Most Stylish. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff0/ MAG

Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff

Beth Dacey at her SOWA studio.


Age 60

Occupation Artist

Residence Boston

What inspires your paintings?

I work from vintage black-and-white photos from the ’50s, ’40s, and ’30s. The subjects are my relatives, my friends’ relatives — they’re found photographs, not from a published book, but in a shoe box or a closet.

How do you make a photo that’s only shoe box-worthy into a good painting?

There needs to be a question or some tension in the photo. The happy accident, though, is that they happen to have cool clothing on as well. I love painting the flow and drape and gesture of clothing.

Has paying close attention to fashion in your paintings influenced your own style?

I don’t think so other than the fact that I do like drape and angles. I like fabric that drapes and moves and angles in an interesting way. My paintings aren’t that colorful either. They’re subtle shades of various neutrals, but people always comment on my pops of color. I guess I do that when I dress as well.  —  Rachel Raczka

Interview has been condensed and edited. Send comments to
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