Sherry Loehr | Still Life Paintings | American Painter

A recurring feature of my work is the blending of closely observed reality, with textures, patterns, and unexpected fragments of abstract color.
''The reality springs from the world around me. I live in the rural Ojai Valley, an area in Southern California where land is still dedicated to orchards, oranges, lemons, and olives. Almost every day I walk and as I walk, I imagine paintings using these things.
Returning to my studio, I create an imaginary environment for the things I see. I want to isolate them, to study, perhaps just two pears or a single branch of loquats. I enjoy the simplicity, the spareness of a few objects, carefully observed.

The most fun I have in a painting is doing the backgrounds. They are freely improvised, a result of "playing" with the paint . . . lots of layers, surprises, no rules, boundaries, or preconceptions. The invitation is to follow what seems intriguing, a color, a texture, the suggestion of a mood. The freedom of the background balances the exactness of the realist subject, the yin and the yang. My work rests in this balance between reality and imagination.
I, a native of San Francisco, returned to California after completing a BA degree in English from the University of Colorado, and a MA degree from Columbia University. For fifteen years, I produced pottery which was sold in fine craft galleries across the US. In 1990, on a mere whim, I took my first painting class. It has been my passion since then.''
-Sherry Loehr