artNotes from Hyde House: Jodie Sutton – Encaustic Autumn landscapes

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“She makes this look so easy,” I mused the last time I stood in front of one of her paintings. That was, back in February, when her “Broken Halos” encaustic painting received a top award in artCentral’s annual winter exhibition mounted by the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition (JRAC).

By the time I stood musing, that JRAC Opening Reception celebration had come and gone. The crowd, too. I found myself alone in the people-empty, art-rich Hyde House gallery. Blissfully steeped in solitary silence, I stood captivated by Jodie’s “Broken Halos”—a quiet 2D cloudscape rendered in layers of encaustic adeptly applied. Again I thought, “She makes this look so easy.”

I have seen enough encaustics to know encaustics is not an easy medium. Arduous is an apt description of the process. Demanding. Requires artistic gumption and grit. Immensely rewarding and satisfying—if and when accomplished.

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Encaustics require extra effort—by the maker. By the viewer, too. You have to look and look again with patience and curiosity. Satisfactions can be readily seen on the textured surface but they are hidden, as well, in the depths of the layers. Appreciating encaustics is certainly worthwhile. Cleo Copeland—passionate patron of the arts and owner of Cleo’s Framing and Design in Joplin—will back me up in this. For years she’s been looking and buying and homing art like a life purpose. She’s always on the lookout for something exceptional. Something with that extra effort that creates the edge.

Cleo called me long before I stood meditating on the complexities of “Broken Halos”.  She asked, “Do you remember that small, red encaustic painting that hung upstairs a year or so ago. The artist was new to me. I don’t remember the name. Do you? I still keep thinking about that piece! Did someone purchase that treasure?”

Of course I remembered the very work! I too had been drawn and impressed by the magic on that seemingly simple, textured surface. I remembered the artist, Jodie Sutton—a first time artCentral group show exhibitor who received honorable mention from the juror.

With a couple of texts and emails I located Jodie’s contact info and passed that on to Cleo who promptly followed through with her pursuit and added that red treasure to her personal collection. Voilà! Once again as artCentral’s curator I had the joy and pleasure of seeing exceptional art discovered and perfectly homed by a happy patron.

Now at last I have the good fortune to introduce Jodie to all of you and to give you the opportunity to become one of her fans and collectors.  David Greenwood-Mathé, artCentral’s prepitor, and I are poised to install and fill all the artCentral galleries with Jodie Sutton’s remarkable ENCAUSTIC AUTUMN LANDSCAPES—her new body of work created especially for this seasonal exhibition to be on view October 4 through November 17, 2019.  The Opening Reception is set for Friday, October 4, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The public is invited. Admission is free. Board members Doug Osborn and Jason Shelfer, both artists themselves, are serving as the evening’s impresarios, so we know the event will be awesome and special.

Surely, when you read here Jodie’s own words you will be enticed to write large on your calendar ENCAUSTIC AUTUMN LANDSCAPES!

Jodie tells us, “I am an artist and designer from the Midwest. Most of my paintings come from the inspiration I find in the landscapes I see around me; by the observations I make every day during my commuting and occasional traveling for work; and by the emotions these experiences invoke.

My family, friends and other amazing artists inspire me to step out of my comfort zone and share my artwork with others. For the past couple of years I have primarily been working with encaustics. This includes original landscapes, abstract work and photo encaustics.

I am excited to share with you my current collection of work, “Encaustic Autumn Landscapes”. These pieces reflect the various stages of my journey in encaustic painting. After a long break from the fine arts, I found myself needing to disconnect from the daily barrage of technology. So, I taught myself the basics of encaustics and I began experimenting in photo encaustics.

I soon transitioned into abstract landscapes and nonrepresentational pieces. I enjoy exploring the texture, translucent quality and fluidity that can be achieved through the medium.

Encaustic is a wax-based paint. Made of beeswax, resin and pigment, the encaustic mixture is heated to about 170 degrees Fahrenheit and kept at a molten state for painting. The encaustic paint is applied to a rigid surface. After each layer is applied, the piece is fused by blowtorch or heat gun. This technique creates a unique texture and vibrancy that’s difficult to reproduce in other mediums.”

Jodie Sutton has mastered the art of creating texture and vibrancy with encaustics, and she puts in the hours and hard work that make this look easy. Best of all, her results are stunning. Come see for yourself!

To watch videos of Jodie at work visit https://www.jsuttonstudio.com/?fbclid=IwAR1coDUNqcEI-sFSx46f4meZ3RMuGWmC2fsawyjrxHt9dQPFdYmoyUIucz8.

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