Sheila Underwood – Statement
I have been painting for many years but became serious about my art after retiring from a long career as an interior designer.
Impressionistic best describes my work. I work from life, from photos and from imagination. I use large brushes and “juicy” paint. I try to convey movement and emotion. I like to take the ordinary and make it dramatic. I like exaggeration.
There are many ways I begin a painting. With several photos of my subject and a few props, one iris can turn into a vase of irises. I sometimes do a simple drawing to use as a framework. Other times I start with a blank piece of paper and draw with my brush and feel my way through a painting, brush drawing as I go. Some paintings begin with splashes of color and much “play” which begins to set a mood that suggests flowers and leaves or rocks and water that just magically appear. I then take it to the next level. This is an exciting way to paint. I never just follow a photograph. A well-known English artist that I once studied with said “Don’t paint the truth, paint a beautiful lie”.
The question I am asked most often is “How long does it take to complete a painting?” I very seldom take a painting from start to finish. I usually have several pieces going at once. This keeps me from overworking a painting. When the excitement of the painting dulls and I don’t know where I want to go with it, I set it aside and work on something else. I don’t plan out every detail before I begin but rather create as I go.
I love drama in my paintings. I don’t want to whisper flower; I want to SHOUT FLOWER!
Silk painting is such an exciting medium and requires much more planning. I stretch silk onto a wooden frame and draw with a resist called gutta. I use silk dye from France, which requires steaming to set. The dyes on silk flow and spread and do beautiful and exciting things. I use pure color and let it mix on the silk as opposed to premixing the color before it’s applied. My silk paintings are framed like a watercolor with mats and glass. Since I love the dramatic I also create huge silk hangings. These pieces are not framed but hang loose from a rod. These paintings are four feet wide and six or seven feet long.
Award Winning Artist
Sheila has participated in many
one woman shows including
Carnegie Arts Center