16 x 20", oil on linen panel, 2017. Available from the Artist $2600
Sedona Art Prize 2016-2017 - Second Place Over All 12 months.
Judges' Comment: Upon learning that this painting by Suzie Baker was created “plein air” style — in a live setting but INDOORS—we were stunned and totally captivated! Suzie describes how a stormy day led her to go inside the landmark Atlanta building where her group had planned to paint outside.
Its painterly style creates an almost-patchwork impression, composed of lush, free brushstrokes; but this is the only aspect of this painting that appears spontaneous. Rather, it has the look of a carefully planned studio work, with a terrific, highly original composition channeling light against dark areas which serve to draw the eye throughout the canvas.
The depiction of the “light-suffused” areas, as Suzie describes them, is also well defined, with the clear interplay between natural light and artificial light. The lavish accouterments of this historical space are also evident with just a few strokes: the velvet chair coverings, the leather seating, the fine hardwood furniture, drapery and floor coverings.
There is even a sense of personality and stature conveyed in figure. Beyond the technical excellence of this unusual plein air painting, there is an ongoing story depicted: Mr. Inman is immersed in a task of some kind: Reading? Studying? What is he thinking? We wonder!within his light-suffused space.
This artwork was painted during the 2017 Olmsted Plein Air Invitational. Typically, artists paint outdoors at these events. This day of painting at the Atlanta History Center brought rain storms so heavy that at one point we were sheltering in place in the basement of the museum or, in my case, the basement of the Swan House.
The "Swan House, traditionally known as one of the most recognized and photographed landmarks in Atlanta, is an elegant, classically styled mansion built in 1928 for the Edward H. Inman family, heirs to a cotton brokerage fortune." Lucky for me, the Swan house features first-person, costumed interpreters who give guided tours of this elegant home. "Mr. Inman," was kind enough to pose for me as I painted.