Monday, May 19, 2008

May Artist #6: Wendy Sutherland

Okay, y'all who have not yet participated in the May Artist Project with me, I'll give you two more days and make it Wednesday that I feature the artists who blogged with me.

Here's the challenge: find an artist (either Safely Dead or a Dangerously Alive one that you've gotten permission to show their works on your blog) who you greatly admire. Study their body of work and jot down why it is that you admire their work and what you'd like to apply to your own.

Sound easy?

That's because it is, especially if you're only doing it once instead of three times a week on dial-up (sorry, did that sound bitter?)

It's a great way to learn and a great way to introduce your readers to new artists.

Okay. That said, today's artist for me is a Dangerously Alive artist, Wendy Sutherland, who kindly gave me permission to show her work on this blog.

Wendy has a huge collection of works on her site, and they're all very unified in style, which is something to strive for in itself, but for me, the pieces of hers that make me want to be her are her tree pieces.

You guys may be scratching your head by now because Wendy's stuff is not my usual fare on this blog, but I love them. And here's why:

  • Spare compositions. Nothing fancy. Horizontal lines, a few values, maybe a hint of color, and the interest of crossing branches to hold our interest.
  • Evocative. Instant mood, baby! Still, cold -- I can feel the bite of the highlands where Wendy lives. This is because of the spare compositions and the stark, unadorned lines of the trees.
  • Simplified/ Stylized. They are undeniable trees, but they're missing the fussy twiddly bits of real nature. These are Art Trees and they can't be bothered with things like branches that don't suit the composition shape, leaves, or even twiglings that get in the way of the piece.
  • Abstract and realistic at once. These would work even if they weren't trees. The shapes alone are appealing, and then we see that they're trees. I read once that even the most effective of realistic compositions can be reduced to a pleasing value pattern at its most basic level . . . I think this very much is true here.
Thanks again, Wendy, for letting me display your art here. And the rest of you, get busy. I want to see a lot of links to artists studied in the comments this time! You have two days! That's forever!


Lindsay said...

Thanks so much for introducing me to a new artist. I like her work too! Now I'm off to see her site.
BTW, I'm unsubscribing to your blog only to add you to my google reader. I love visiting.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I like her work - representational and abstracted at the same time.

Gillian McMurray said...

OK, I got inspired by all your hard work and wrote a little about my favourite artist (or one of them). The link is

vivien said...

love these :>) thanks for introducing me to this work

I'll try to do a post on Kurt Jackson to link - I've just bought a fabulous book of his sketchbooks - excerpts from the 25 sketchbooks he filled in just one year - and that's apart from the large number of canvasses, some of the them huge!!!

Cindy said...

Thanks for sharing Wendy Sutherland with us. My 3rd great grandmother was a Sutherland from the Highlands of Scotland. I love the sense of 'home' in her artwork.

This is a great series!

Sheona Hamilton Grant said...

Rose to your challenge: a little write up on one of my favourites can be found at this link:

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Lindsay -- thanks for the nice words!

Katherine -- exactly.

Gillian & Sheona -- linking!

Cindy - Thanks!