about Brenda Siemer


PO Box 159
Pomfret, Vermont 05067

I woke up this morning to think “about me.”

At 70 I am back to my artistic roots; my father at his drawing board, my high school art award at graduation in 1966, and a scholarship in my third year at the University of Buffalo in Fine Arts.

The 70’s spelled political upheaval and adventure. I headed down to NYC. During a decade of working as a model in NY and Paris, I began to study acting with Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler. I moved with them during the winter season to LA during the 1980’s to continue my studies with Peggy Feury and began auditioning and working in film, television and theater.

In 1989 I married actor Roy Scheider and we moved to Sagaponack on the East End of Long Island, NY. I began careers in Documentary filmmaking, photography, and the parenting of our children, Christian and Molly Mae Scheider.

In 1996 we were part of the co-founders of a multicultural elementary school in Bridgehampton, NY, the Hayground School. In its nineteenth year it remains a hands-on, experiential approach to education and community building.

Whenever I have held still long enough to have a sense of place, I would pull out my paintbrushes and buy some new watercolor paper. Happily the fields and sea of Sagaponack inspired me during those days. Life changed fast when Roy died of Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer, in 2008.

In 2012 I married Sam Neustadt, a renowned architect and new iPadPro painter. He has his first one man show this year. We settled in the hills of Pomfret, Vermont and built a small, energy efficient, “farmhouse” in the hills. He said, “with your talent, sit down and paint, paint, paint!”

I reignited my affection for the clear beauty of watercolor painting. I loved the feel of the sun on my skin as I painted from the back of my open car, but in November, had my watercolor freeze on the brush as it reached the paper! I have always loved en plein observation of the light and I had trouble going inside. But a studio awaited me. The whole second floor of our house is an open loft. My painting technique has been developing, here and on the road.

Our mutual love of travel has taken us around the world, and I was able to paint in the Bahamas, Asia and Europe. Italy calls to us time and again. We have set up camp to paint in many of its small towns. But our favorite has been the stone cottage of Castelvecchi Vineyards near Radda in Tuscany. In 2016 we rented an apartment from which to work in Venice. Now, Florence to study and paint. I am blessed.

So, back to work.