Susan Luckey Higdon is fascinated by swirling layers of water, reflections, the fish that live below the surface and the birds that wade and fly above, and the stones and fallen leaves and needles along the bottom. She explores this theme in her October show of new works at Tumalo Art Co. in Bend, Oregon, opening October 7, from 4-8pm during the First Friday Gallery walk.
Using acrylic on cradled birch board, Susan’s paintings capture the complex interactions of color and pattern in what she describes as natural abstractions. “My actual rendering style is impressionistic and fairly representational. But I like to abstract the image using composition. By framing the scene in an unusual way the viewer becomes caught up in color and pattern.”
A group of trout, swimming in yellow green waters, is my most abstracted painting of fish yet. The strong chroma between yellow and green makes an interesting backdrop to the swirling fish. I took the photo at a fish hatchery and then played with the color in photoshop, looking for the most interesting composition of the fishes shapes and contrast of color.
When spotting trout, or any fish, in their environment, it is magical, brief and mysterious. This painting of trout, in acrylic on birchboard heightens that feeling.
My wildlife paintings, whether fish, birds, wild hares or deer is always about interpreting nature’s beauty with color. “Trout Chroma” is the newest addition to my natural abstractions series.
Recently the new owner of my soft pastel painting “Primal Call” sent me a photo showing the art in it’s permanent home. It was so exciting to see how the art, which is a painting I’m very proud of, looked in their home.
“Primal Call” depicts the wonderful colors of spawning kokanee in a crystal clear stream. The reason it was such a joy to paint was the pattern or color and light created by this natural phenomenon of spawning fish. And it brought back all of the sights and sounds of the day I saw the fish and photographed them to paint from.
I’m so grateful when a painting becomes a well-loved part of a collectors world. Thanks for sharing!