Sunday, September 06, 2015

The Intimate landscape New Work by Sally Sutton

Carolina Creations Fine Art and Contemporary Craft Gallery at 317 Pollock Street in Downtown New Bern announces their featured artist for September and October, New Bern artist Sally Sutton. Her new show is titled “The Intimate Landscape”, the opening reception for the show is during ArtWalk, September 11, 5-8 pm. 

Sally will be demonstrating her painting technique during ArtWalk.

Carolina Creations will also host a “sip and painting party” with Sally on Thursday, September 17, from 6:30 to 9 pm at Francoeur Studio, visit the website for

In a recent interview we asked Sally to talk about her career:

How did you get started as an artist? 
I started my career in Tokyo, Japan of all places! I was painting in watercolor exclusively at that time around 1986 and would paint scenes of Tokyo. The small step gardens that were created in the small space in front of a doorway really attracted me along with the beautiful gardens and koi ponds. 

There was a group of expatriate wives from many countries that saw my paintings and invited me to a coffee morning where they said put a price on them and see if they sell. Well, for the first time I sold all of them and started a career as a professional artist from that point. 

I then began showing in galleries in Tokyo and became a local artist for about 4 years when I left to go back to NC. 

I continued to show every two years in Tokyo until 1998 when I wanted to stay home with my baby son Edward. 

Who or what has influenced you the most?
My mother influenced me the most with early childhood direction in painting and drawing.

My father built me an easel and I'd say by age 3 or 4 I had the art bug. Also my mother always had prints of the impressionist artists Degas, Monet, Bonnard and Cezanne on our walls growing up which influenced my painting style and color use as an artist. 

I am also influenced by Japanese wood block print artists as Hokusai, Hiroshige and Utamaru to name a few. I collected some prints while I lived in Japan and was so excited to find that Claude Monet also collected many of the same prints. I saw them on his kitchen wall and throughout his house when touring Monet's garden home in Giverny, France.   

Describe for us a breakthrough moment in your work: About 20 years ago I was working on paintings for an upcoming show at a gallery and I kept trying to paint in a more realistic style when one night I took a blank canvas and just painted a landscape from memory and put some of my frustration into the brushstrokes creating a work that was very loose and colorful. 

My work after that went in a direction where I pulled from my emotion more than over-thinking the painting. I guess you could say I found the "zone" where I felt like I was on automatic and the painting would create itself. I still struggle to get in the "zone" but it seems that the more I paint and with more years of experience, my work flows better for me. 

As an artist, what is it that you love about what you do and being an artist? I love that I am able to paint and set my own goals and direction. As an artist, I have had the honor of receiving feedback from people that have been touched in some way by my work. 

My work is in hospitals and it touches me emotionally to have someone tell me they saw my painting during a tough time and it helped to calm them. I feel lucky every day that I have the opportunity to be self-employed as an artist and be doing what I really love and enjoy! (I also like being able to sleep in and make afternoon appointments!) 

Where do you find your best ideas? I am inspired by many things in nature and the light, color, drama and emotion in a scene. When I have an emotional response to what I see then I try to impart that emotion to the viewer through my art. If I find that I am very passionate about a subject then often I will do a series so I can develop it further. I think training your eye as an artist to "see" color and to be able to simplify subject matter helps to bring new ideas into view.  

For more information on Sally’s show call the gallery at 252-633-4369, email, or visit the website

Visit Sally's page on our website for information about these pieces by clicking here.

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