Sallie Wolf

Region: Midwest


City / State: Oak Park, IL

All my art grows out of my journals in some way. Grounded in direct observation, especially of the natural world, my art is pieced together from smaller units, much the way a journal is pieced together over time.

These panoramic landscapes are based on much smaller sketches which are painted on site, often while traveling. Once back in my studio, I choose a format of multiple sheets, recreate the drawing on the large format, and usually begin with a charcoal under-drawing, a grisaille. Working with the sheets pinned to my studio wall, I begin to paint. I start first with clean water to manipulate and set the charcoal, then add layer upon layer of watercolor, more charcoal drawing, and occasionally acrylic gesso or Chinese white.

The resulting paintings are sometimes brooding, sometimes glowing landscapes with a texture and surface not found in traditional watercolors. Because they are painted at a remove both in time and place from the original source, the colors shift to reflect where I am and the season in which I am working. The paintings embody memory, longing, a sense of dislocation and distance.