Art : Full air at Featherstone for Susan Sellers
A lively crowd gathered at the Susan Sellers, Plein Air Retrospective opening at the Virginia Weston Besse Gallery at the Featherstone Center for the Arts.
Plein air, or "in the open air," is the practice of painting landscapes outdoors in natural light. It is a perfect setting for Ms. Sellers, an outdoor woman who can often be found outside gardening or exercising her two huskies. She is best known for her 30-year-long career as an expert sign painter. Ms. Sellers says that she " feels one with the universe" painting in the open air. She looks at her painting as "the opposite of sign painting." She says, "It gives me freedom."
Ms. Sellers says that she always wanted to paint, but only found the time to squeeze it into her schedule eight years ago. "I am particularly interested in painting parts of the Vineyard that are on the verge of disappearing, those places and things that might not be here in a few years. So much has disappeared in the 30 years I have lived here."
Working primarily in oil and sometimes in pastels, Ms. Sellers has created a body of work that portrays Vineyard landscapes and a few from Maine, and favorite scenes: docks, boats, barns, roads and houses and their details in vibrant colors. "I am sometimes impulsive about what I paint," she admits. "I see something and just stop my car and start painting."
Ms. Sellers has a keen eye for composition, undoubtedly honed by her years of sign painting, and a color sense that make her paintings lively. Many of her canvasses have been reproduced for sale as giclee prints.
Susan Sellers's show runs through April 30 at Featherstone Center for the Arts on Barnes Rd. in Oak Bluffs.