Sally Schaedler - Contemporary Fine Art Painter, Portraitist, contemporary art painting, contemporary abstract art, abstract modern art imagery

Contemporary Fine Art Paintings and Portraits

We located to the lower Hudson Valley seven years ago and love the wildlife, the mountain views. and the advantage of being close to Manhattan to enjoy both city and country life.

Art is not a choice; it has always been an obsession for me. I have always needed to find an outlet for painting in some way... whether large scale abstractions or portraits. For financial reasons, I turned to design and illustration as a career but I never stopped painting.

I turned to portraiture when my children were small, realizing I could neither meet commercial art deadlines nor focus on creating large paintings and meet the demands of raising a family. The realism of portraiture has made its way into my abstractions, which have also been influenced by my travels, especially to Mexico and Turkey. Texture and depth, intersecting spatial forms, as well as a love of detail have become the focus of my current painting.

A professor of mine years ago insisted that his students not begin to paint with any preconceived notions. Color and shape, for example, should just "evolve" on the canvas. I still follow this process, and never know how the eventual painting will develop. I like the ethereal quality of finding images and shapes within and behind other shapes. I like soft colors and ways to find "safe passage" through the canvas, in the same way that we all maneuver through life and find our way. I like raised and recessed surfaces, glossy and matte combined finishes. Life is a little like a puzzle and we all have to find our way to make all the pieces fit. I intuitively convey feelings in particular paintings depending on my situation at the time; exploring the way shapes intersect in life and the way we sometimes hide the obvious behind a mask. However I want the viewer to reach their own conclusions about what the symbolism may represent.

I am a Senior Designer for Amscan, Inc., and have extensive experience illustrating many children’s books for Random House, Scholastic, Harcourt, Concordia, Silver Burdett, Pearson, etc. (see sommerstudios.com).

Arshille Gorky, Franz Kline, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns, Chuck Close, Sam Gilliam, Rufino Tamayo, Richard Diebenkorn, Paul Gauguin, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Diego Rivera, Frank Stella... there are so many artists who influenced my painting. Frank Stella seemed to say it best: “I don't like to say I have given my life to art. I prefer to say art has given me my life.”