8" x 10"
copyright © 2012 Sherry Lee Short
In permanent collection of Minot State University, North Dakota
14" x 11"
copyright © 2015 Sherry Lee Short
image created en plein air during artist residency in Porcupine Wilderness, Michigan
My first studies of landscape began in 2004. I had worked many years as a figurative artist creating art in studio settings with models. Therefore, I found the transition to working with the non-static and expansive qualities of the landscape to be a new challenge. After exploring different directions for this work, I found myself drawn to the austerity of the prairie winter landscape. The winter landscape, with its dramatic contrasts of values and forms, pulled me back to using my favorite medium—graphite—which I had not used in many years. This graphic aesthetic now defines my landscape work in all seasons.
My process is much one of omission. The landscape is a layered space of natural forms and textures. Visually, however, I am often interested in some of its smaller parts. Alternatively, I may choose a larger element, but eliminate all foreground and background clutter in order to focus on the elegance of the one subject. The aesthetic of the work draws from my interests in the interplay of simplicity and complexity. It also draws from the experience of being directly engaged with the landscape when I am seeking imagery. My work is pulled from long-day treks or extended backpacking trips, during which I travel through, live in, and experience wild and natural spaces.