Self Portrait 2019

The painting finds me. Sometimes I see a new work when I’m walking; sometimes an interesting face must be put to the brush, sometimes colors explode in a dream. I am a wanderer as I mix up themes and subjects, eliminating detail and working toward the abstract. The feeling of heavy paint on a big brush fills me with excitement. I am bold and brash as I paint.

In the words of the Bard, all the world is my stage. Flowers from the garden and family crockery or duck decoys are set-ups for still lifes. A friend poses for me. Landscapes emerge from my imagination and from memories in my photos. I study the great artists in museums and books. Most recently I am discovering the Abstract Impressionist women — de Kooning, Mitchell, Hartigan, Krasner and Frankenthaler. Richard Diebenkorn and Tom Thompson are my current go-to’s for ideas and problem solving, and I continue to learn from my friends Eric Aho and Chris Benson.

Color comes to me naturally — I take lessons from what I see. I grew up in Montana, watching the ever-changing, never ending sky, the golden wheat fields, and yes, the purple mountains majesty. Sunsets filled with prairie dust radiated reds and yellows, pinks and oranges that if captured by a brush other than Charlie Russell’s seem false and garish. Looking sixty miles to the west to the Rockies, ochre and rich brown graduate into lavender and azure. These are the colors in my bones. New England is too green, so I search for shady mountain paths or deep cricks of black water. Then I wait for winter to come with her blue whites and luscious grays.

As a friend once wrote, “Spencer brings big skies and Western color schemes to her oil paintings. She is unromantic in her compositions, juxtaposing the wild elements of nature and the objects of civilization. Her paintings are at once real and dreamy, rendered by a loose brush and a keen observation of how the spirit of the land intersects with the material world she sees.”

I invite you to enter my vistas as I explore atmosphere and push the boundaries of the painting on my canvas.