Sarah Caton Wynne
Painting is an exercise for me. Not like training for the Austin and NYC marathons that I have enjoyed running. Not like raising children and the exercise in patience and love that affords. For my left brain, analytical approach to much of life, painting is an exercise in letting go. When I approach a blank canvas, I battle the need for order and perfection and allow myself the freedom to begin.
My painting experience began in the nook between our living room and den. The 3×3 space doubled as a wet bar, so I used the sink to wash out my brushes. However, my painting passion began in elementary school at the easel of a teacher, ironically in her home, as well. Even at that young age, my left brain fought for dominance and my teacher fought back by making me use unexpected color in surprising places. I didn’t see purple in the sky, but she either encouraged me to look again or (gasp) brushed some there anyway. Life isn’t always literal and neither is art. My work remains based in these truths.
Elaine de Kooning was originally better known as Mrs. Willem de Kooning. However, she was also at the forefront of abstract expressionism in her own right and I’m as much drawn to her individualism as I am her gestural brushstrokes. She said, “My paintings repeat a feeling about Lake Michigan, or water, or fields…it’s more like a poem…and that’s what I want to paint.” I strive for the same in my work. My acrylic paintings are lyrical in nature, with movement and meaning that I feared only resonated with me. I’m so pleased they resonate with others as well.
My studio remains in my Houston home, but now I have a dedicated space filled with light and across from the playroom where young voices punctuate my palette. I look out over a bayou full of life and nature, always changing and inspiring. That same bayou flooded my home during Hurricane Harvey, a constant reminder that life, like water en route to the Gulf of Mexico, is always in flux – good for my right brain and, therefore, my art.