Two Painting by Suellyn Scoon in Kenosha Galleries

One afternoon in Kenosha I came across two paintings by Suellyn Scoon hanging in local galleries.  One is a portrait of a young woman, Katelyn, on view at Anderson Art Center in the Racine Art Guild Juried, the other, Red Skirt, is featured at Lemon Street Gallery.

Suellyn Scoon, Katelyn (2011) @ Anderson Art Center

Red Skirt (2011) Suellyn Scoon

Suellyn Scoon, Red Skirt (2011) @ Lemon Street Gallery

Having seen these canvases in-progress in Scoon’s studio in early March, I got a flash of excitement when I ran into them again in public.

Scoon studio, 2011

Scoon studio March 2011

Although they do it in very different ways, Katelyn and Red Skirt demonstrate Scoon’s persistent interest in women’s beauty and fashion. The girl pictured in Katelyn looks out at the view with intense blue-green eyes rimmed in thick black eyeliner. The painter applies a delicate line of black paint to the canvas as if she is applying eyeliner to her model’s face. In other ways too, Scoon’s paint application reminds me of makeup applied to a woman’s body. The flesh tones and pinks of Katelyn’s skin and the slightly darker powdery mauves that make up the background of the image are rubbed and blended in the way that foundation, blusher, and powder are applied to a woman’s face, neck and shoulders. Scoon’s treatment of Katelyn’s fashionable hair color is marvelous. With a few restrained shapes and wispy brushstrokes Scoon sketches in the dark lowlights, and the dramatic red and blond highlights that tell us so much about her model’s personality. It seems that Katelyn has a sense of her own beauty but is not narcissistic. She has a strong sense of self and is ready to meet the challenges coming her way.

Red Skirt was no doubt produced more quickly and one imagines that painting it was as fun as it is to look at it. Scoon works again with a reduced palette—reds and blacks dominate—yet the color in Red Skirt is juicy and dramatic. With quick painterly marks Scoon celebrates the glamour and fantasy propagated by the fashion industry. And although most viewers would never dream of purchasing a gown like the one pictured in this image, most will feel a vicarious thrill as they feast their eyes on Scoon’s brilliant rendering of its rich red taffeta skirt, whose color is echoed in the beads pilled around the model’s neck, nail polish and lipstick.

Scoon studio March 2011

Scoon studio March 2011

About Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs is the director of galleries and curator of exhibitions at Jamestown Community College in Western New York. She writes the blog "Scene Unseen: Viewing Notes" about visual art in her community.

17 Responses to Two Painting by Suellyn Scoon in Kenosha Galleries

  1. Katie says:

    Just like the painter, my sister, the paintings are compelling and full of surprises.

  2. April says:

    Suellyn’s paintings are beautiful, just like she is!

  3. Kate says:

    As always, interestingly beautiful work, Suellyn.

  4. Lydia says:

    Suellyn’s paintings are fresh,original and interesting.

  5. There is one in a hundred or more painters who move beyond the point of technical excellence. There is far fewer than that, whose work can hold it’s own in a conversation with the viewer. Suellyn Scoon is one in the later category.

  6. jim wright says:

    i may be too close to suellyn’s work to be objective, but from where i sit, her paintings and assemblage are stellar. i second everhting melanie said above.

  7. Nancy Neider says:

    Suellyn’s paintings are soulful and intense, yet elegantly simple, with compositions and colors that beautifully convey their moods.

  8. jerry belland says:

    I found myself staring at Suellyn’s portrait of Katelyn at the Anderson opening. It really catches something about adolescence. It really brought me back to my teaching days.

  9. Sharon Mogden says:

    Suellyn creates such beauty in her paintings with feeling from her heart and soul. Her talent is rare, but so appreciated!!!

  10. Ann Niccolai says:

    Suellyn’s paintings are so “captivating”; they compel a subsequent gaze. . .

  11. amanda aude says:

    beautiful beautiful beautiful! i love these!

  12. Amber says:

    I have known Suellyn for a long time and we have grown very close. Her artwork is amazing and really reflects her personality. Simply beautiful.

  13. Ada James says:

    I love the motion in the woman with the red skirt. Beautiful color as well.
    Lovely, Suellyn.

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