VALERY SUTHERLAND artist statement.
The four ancient elements of earth, water, air and fire are the starting point in the development of my 'Elements' series of paintings. The acrylic on canvas paintings were initially intuitive but as the series evolved, I started to make preliminary sketches that sometimes included digital imagery of areas that could be sky or water and in at least one painting, fire. I incorporated real and imagined architectural drawings or satellite photos of towns and cities into the sketches. The later paintings are sometimes concerned with the passage of time and in more than one instance, the cosmos. I consider the paintings to be landscapes, albeit somewhat abstract ones.
On a road trip to Florida, I sketched and photographed some of the things that we saw on our journey. I used some of those images for the 'Road Trip' series of acrylic paintings, together with some of my digital images. For the 'Reflections' series of paintings, photographs of the reflection on a granite countertop of the white oak behind my house, were the source material. Other digital images that I used were of split logs, leaves and plants. I also began to superimpose images onto the paintings, almost in the manner of graffiti.
For a number of years I created painted wood sculptures. They were constructed from layered plywood whose surfaces were chiseled or built up using acrylic mediums. Some were free-standing but most were hung on the wall. A number of the wall pieces were abstract but others were about social issues, artists, opera and the passage of time.