Sallie Wolf is from Oak Park, Illinois and Sandwich, New Hampshire where she has summered since she was a child. She is a graduate of Brown University, (BA Anthropology, honors, Phi Beta Kappa) and The School of the Art Institute, Chicago, Illinois (BFA). Her landscapes of Squam Lake and the surrounding mountains remind us of the tranquility found in Japanese scenery. Working from sketches made on sight, Wolf combines charcoal drawings with watercolor and other drawing media. The result is soft and rich. Her subject matter is often a multi-sheet panoramic view, though each sheet stands as a painting by itself. The work is sold together or separately but the result is as breathtaking as the landscape it represents. Wolf's work is featured in public and private collections throughout the United States.
My father bought the red house in Center Sandwich, New Hampshire, when I was seven and I have spent almost every summer since looking out at the wonderful view of Squam, or sitting on the beach, staring across the lake at the same mountain ridges, the same boathouse, the same trees. As I sit on the beach I sketch. And at the end of my vacation I take my sketches home to Oak Park, a suburb directly west of Chicago. All of the mixed-media drawings were done in my studio in Oak Park, during the winter, from sketches done on site in New Hampshire. For me they are about distance, dislocation, longing, loss, and memory.
I call these multi-sheet panoramic paintings “Big-Brush Watercolors.” I use the biggest brushes I can find to fill the expanse of paper. Because I work from very small sources—sketches in my journals or quickly painted post cards—I have little detail to work with. This pushes me to rely on my memory and sends the paintings into a level of abstraction that I enjoy. My color choices are influenced by the totally different palette of Chicago in the winter. New Hampshire in the summer is full of blue light, and a deep green. Chicago is gray and cold and a much yellower green.
Lately I have been focusing on consistency in my life and this has spilled over into my studio practice. I show up regularly at the studio on a weekly, near daily basis. Being engaged with my paintings over a long period of time, and not losing touch with them, has given me a sense of ease and fun in the painting that is bringing deeper colors and more playfully worked surfaces. I am eager to see what will happen next.