As she indulges her passion for photography, local artist Zoe Breen is letting her eye wander all over the East End.
Zoë Breen’s 2014 painting Country Commuter.
“It’s so beautiful here on the East End,” says artist and photographer Zoë Breen. “I live near Hook Pond in East Hampton, and it’s a magical spot. This winter I started getting up at four in the morning to take pictures. I wanted to capture that quiet before the day, the moment before everything starts. And then it all starts happening: The birds start singing first, and then the light changes and the sun comes and reflects on the water and the swans start flying. It just fills me up so much. It’s like a great meal when you’re starving.”
A favorite among locals for her large, brightly colored abstract paintings (she took the prize for best abstract work at Guild Hall’s Artist Members Exhibition in 2012), Breen has recently returned to her first passion: photography. Her Instagram account has an avid following, with fans relishing her extraordinary images of the natural world out East. She takes about 400 photos a day, but for Instagram she whittles it down to two shots that encapsulate the stunning raw beauty surrounding us. “It’s so interesting [that] since I’ve been taking pictures, my painting and my eye have changed,” she says. “It’s a little wilder now.”
Breen has also branched out into film and recently shot a short documentary about a local high school band called Welcome to the Midnight. “I never plan on what I’m going to paint or photograph,” she says. “For me, art and freedom go hand in hand. My motto has always been: Just see what happens.”