What a joy and pleasure to celebrate Jodie Sutton and her ENCAUSTIC AUTUMN LANDSCAPES during last Friday’s Opening Reception at Hyde House. The cool breezes and first subtle shades of early autumn arrived just in time to welcome guests coming up the steps lined with candle luminaries and cheerful copper-colored mums. Hostess Jalayne Osborn graciously offered a smile and a libation as one by one art lovers came through artCentral’s green door of hospitality. The feasting table, covered in a rusty gossamer and velvet trimmed cloth, was graciously laid with seasonal delectables provided by board member impresarios Doug Osborn and Jason Shelfer.
My husband, David, artCentral’s prepitor (art handler and installation guru) and I watched with satisfaction. After finishing our day job tasks, for three nights we had worked very late installing Jodie’s art. For hours we moved throughout the galleries, upstairs and down, thoughtfully considering the conversations suggested by these beautiful encaustics. As we placed all of Jodie’s 112 awesomely stunning paintings we kept thinking and talking about how much we’d like to purchase and gift every single one to ourselves and others. Finally, we made our choices for acquiring four of these treasures.
Jodie’s creations, painted with molten, pigmented wax, (sometimes applied in as many as fifty layers) range from 4”x4” at $35.00 to 30”x40”at $700.00 with a wide variety of sizes, presentations—framed or matted or unframed—and price points in between. Please do come see for yourself this astounding, budget accessible collection of beauty and wonder. Just as we have, you, too, will quite likely fall in love with Jodie’s exhibition and find a favorite painting or two to take home.
Jodie’s encaustic picture planes are filled with blue skies and vibrant colors; green terrain to make your heart sing and majestically towering cloud banks; hints of birds catching and riding ethereal currents and sweeping storms roiling above autumn tinted vistas. There is a smattering of serene abstracts scattered here and there in muted hues.
When I asked Jodie, “Where do you find your inspiration?” she held up her camera-equipped cell phone and replied, “I take pictures of what I see when I’m traveling on the road.”
I understand. When you live a very full life you grab inspiration whenever and wherever you can. Indeed, Jodie is living a very, very full life being a wife to her husband, Greg, and mother to her two remarkable daughters, Morgan and Lauren, and all the while she’s working at her full time job and magically finding moments to make her art.
On a Sunday afternoon, Jodie and her family arrived at artCentral with a truck full of her carefully wrapped, boxed and labeled works. Everyone helped David and I with the carry in, then Greg took the girls out for lunch while Jodie helped us unpack and begin our initial set for the installation. That completed, Greg, Morgan and Lauren returned to fetch Jodie, and they traveled home to Ozark, Missouri, to make preparations to begin a new week of school, homework and full time day jobs.
Jodie’s a graphic designer/photographer in the marketing department for an education company in Pittsburg, Kansas. She explains, “The company specializes in whole class STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) solutions and robotics for K-12. I have worked for the same company for ten years and just a year ago started working from home. My job varies from day to day. One day, I could be working on a print brochure and the next I could be working on a web page design for a mobile device.”
“I enjoy my full time job,” this artist tells me, “I get to be creative and work for a company that focuses on helping children and teachers succeed. However after sitting for forty hours in front of a computer each week, painting gives me a much needed break from the technology that I enjoy.”
While fully committed to her family and her forty-hour a week day job, Jodie still manages to carve out studio hours. She stands in that class of exceptional artists I think of and admire as the Wonder Women of the Art World. Somehow they have those special skills that enable them to be fully present to their families and day jobs while they create a significant body of highly accomplished art.
Loving spirits are surely with this young woman! Daily they are giving her the grace to live a complex life with great poise and success. I am grateful to have Jodie’s talented graciousness glowing on the walls of artCentral.
Jodie Sutton’s ENCAUSTIC AUTUMN LANDSCAPES, generously underwritten by Sirloin Stockade, will continue on view through November 17, 2019. The public is invited. Admission is free. Weekend Gallery Hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 12:00-5:00 p.m., and Sundays, 1:00-5:00. On October 19th, the Saturday of the Maple Leaf Parade, artCentral will be open by prearranged appointment only. Please call (417)358-4404 to schedule your visit.
To watch videos of Jodie at work visit https://www.jsuttonstudio.com/?fbclid=IwAR1coDUNqcEI-sFSx46f4meZ3RMuGWmC2fsawyjrxHt9dQPFdYmoyUIucz8.