twentieth-century american artist

In the summer I am a hunter. I listen for weather forecasts noting the type of light that may be likely. Canadian air brings the clear golden light of low humidity. Rain may result in morning mists, thunder showers in dynamic clouds. Haze is good for going into stream beds to photograph plants and rocks close-up. The hot humid days of August give good imagery for pastels.

As I start the day I evaluate the light and decide where to go. I usually have three or four sites that I am working with, returning to them in the morning or afternoons, as the weather changes. There is a meander in the Roe-Jan Creek that I was working with this spring. The river curls back and forth several times. The scene needs an extravagance in the sky and some humidity to soften the shapes. The river was visible in the Spring. It is too late now, in July. I will go back in November when the sun is lower in the sky and the frost has exposed the river again.

I build the painting slowly, watching it. I try to let the paint breathe and to allow the painting to make its own statement. The image has three realities: the original site as seen, the photo perception of a moment in time and the canvas.

The canvas becomes the enduring statement, its discipline, a part of the history of paint. Through oil and canvas I converse or try to get a word in about the landscape, about living in the natural world.

Sarah Supplee
July 1994