Fran Sutherland: Constant Change
“As Einstein once said ‘change is constant’. My life and artwork is an attempt to explore and live by this concept. Bridge structures are a symbolic subject for transitions and survival. This idea has become the focus of my artwork. While traveling internationally my painting and drawing diary has always included bridges. This fascination began as a child when I rode with my grandparents over the Catskill bridge to their summer retreat and later crossed over the Tappan Zee at age seventeen to attend New Paltz college.Today I have witnessed many of these bridges being replaced with newly engineered architectural structures. But the purpose has remained the same , to move over a geographically challenging area from one place to another. The focus of my paintings and artworks has been the Hudson River Valley bridges where I have lived most of my adult life. My first pieces used stencils of bridges which were replaced with photo silkscreen prints created at the women’s studio workshop in Rosendale New York. After bringing a New Paltz high school art class to R and F Painting in Kingston for a demonstration about paint making and encaustics, colored wax was added to my acrylic bridge print paintings My maiden name is Murano and the wax reminded me of the glass quality and creations from this island in Italy. The transparent quality and reflective aspect of the encaustic‘s media added a new dimension to my art. Recently the print artworks are collaged with papers made from previous paintings, photos, and copies painted with acrylics and encaustics. Tearing and juxtaposing papers which I make and paste on the bridge prints hopefully bring the past and the present play.” – Fran Sutherland
Fran Sutherland, a native New Yorker, is a painter, teacher, and restorer of historic homes. Strongly influenced by Eastern aesthetics, Fran’s creative paintings synthesize both Eastern and Western formats in multi-media works. The chosen media and techniques express personal ideas, which is especially evident in her textural compositions emphasizing oil and acrylic resist techniques.
Fran’s most recent and unique works reflect the geophysical world, which we all experience in different ways. For this artist, walking, hiking, and motorless boating are meditative and energizing at the same time. To begin looking out or forward is the way Fran Sutherland psychologically and physically approaches the day and life. The first piece of the art work shows the area that lies ahead in an Asian-styled, vertical composition, and the second piece recognizes what is at the feet, or below the body, and depicts that area in a Western, horizontal, rectangular format. The two paintings are then presented and suspended as one work of art. This new series of paintings explores and attempts to share the act of looking forward and down, or what is below as well as ahead.
Many of her works integrate geologic coloration and the play of light and water with local and international sites and architectural structures. Sutherland’s semi-autobiographical paintings continue to be inspired by New York’s Hudson Valley and Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains.
Recent awards include First Place (2018), Third Place (2016), and Honorable Mentions (2012 and 2010) at the Pima County Performing Arts Center, as well as an Honorable Mention (2012) at the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum. Fran’s work appeared recently in a juried show a the Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY (2018).
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