“Painted Places,” Sandra Pratt’s new show opening at Selby Fleetwood Gallery on August 10, showcases Pratt’s thickly-textured landscape paintings.
“I use palette knives because they allow me to get across what I’m trying to say,” explains Pratt, a mostly self-taught artist originally from Chicago and living in Boulder, Colorado. “I want my work to be simplified but make a strong statement.”
More than one dozen paintings of scenes from Colorado and the Southwest, the Pacific coast and French villages are on display. As Pratt travels to these different locations, she absorbs the colors and fascinating compositions she sees around her and registers these images in her mind.
Back in her studio, which has huge skylights and is located in the attic of her 100-year old home, Pratt recalls her favorite scenes and puts them down on canvas.
Recently, Pratt returned from a one-week-long trip to Carmel, California. She says she was blown away by the beauty of the beach. “The colors of the ocean and the sand were so breathtaking,” she adds. “I just soaked it all in.”
Composition is the skeleton and foundation of each of her works. “Sometimes, I make a charcoal sketch on the canvas,” she says. “Other times, I start a new piece with my palette knives. Color is so important to me. Once I chose my palette for a particular painting, I’m ready to go.”
Palettes often recur in Pratt’s paintings, which reflect her love of nature and old architecture. The bold strokes created by her palette knife communicate her intense feelings for the intimate worlds she’s capturing on canvas.
Pratt’s work has been exhibited at the Brattleboro Museum in Vermont and in Colorado at the A.R. Mitchell Museum in Trinidad and the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art.