For many artists, the vocabulary for their artistic language is deeply shaped by the home.
For Sheila Finch, the Artist of the Week, that home is particularly particular: a houseboat. She has lived there for 8 years now. Her style, which is soothing and natural, befits her unusual home.
“My paintings have evolved to reflect this unique lifestyle: big dramatic skies, seascapes, and vast landscapes,” she says.
The light play in her paintings have traces of sparkling water surfaces and forever restyling skies.
“I love sitting in the cockpit and watching the colors of the sky change as the sun sets. The sky and water soothes my soul and I feel joyful, so I work to capture that feeling on canvas,” she says.
In order to capture that beautiful, luminescent effect distinctive of Sheila’s paintings, she paints in multiple layers. This process can take several months. She paints in veils of transparent color or dry brushes one color over another in a technique called scumbling.
The effect is remarkable. Her base color glows with from within the veils of overlay.
She is inspired by the light of the late afternoon; she calls that time of day “the glowing hour.”
“Above all else, I love using color to create mood,” says the artist.
Heavenly Light (48″ x 108″), oil painting
Her studio is in a local community center. She paints to the general bustle of after-school activities – the sound of children playing and laughter, rushing off to dance classes, or woodshop. This happy energy translates directly into her canvases.
Her paintings tend to flow in unexpected directions. She points out the way blank canvases, at a certain point, seem to become autonomous and free thinking; they choose their own direction.
“I’ve learned that nothing good comes from ‘fighting’ that creative flow,” she says.
Sheila has been painting since she was 12-years-old. Since then, she has amassed an incredible 40,000 hours at the easel. Through her teenage years, Sheila painted realistically. But as her career unfolded she has delved into various stylistic realms including tonalism, pointillism, impressionism, and color field.