Three Southeastern artists have joined together for our Spring exhibition, Spring Picnic. While Jen Matthews, Suzy Lindow, and Scot Rittenbaum styles are unique, their group show sings together in a beautiful harmony. We are delighted to take this opportunity to share more about each of these talented artists with you.
Jen is a brand designer and artist living in Raleigh, North Carolina. A child of the 80’s, the fashion, color and patterns from that decade are palpable influences in her painting. Probably because her mom owned a clothing store at that time, and Jen spent countless hours amongst the shoulder pads, floral prints and color-blocked power suits that adorned the racks. Her art is bold, playful and alive — a mix of abstract and graphic. With a maximalism approach reconfigured into minimalism technique, she develops layer upon textured layer while staying true to a simple, discovered visual story.
“A maximalist at heart, I approach my paintings with whatever feels right in the moment, experimenting with layers of color, texture and pattern. To keep my paintings from looking like a midlife crisis, I work to pull together a simplified, visual story. At times my work represents a journey and other times I strive to replicate the energy of nature in a distinct way. Each painting is an evolution from the last as my practice is more about discovery than repetition.”
"An important part of my evolved take on living is having decided in August 2019 to relocate from Atlanta, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina so my wife Karen and I could live close to family and to begin my new career as a full-time artist. Undoubtedly the journey my family and I traversed in our eldest daughter’s valiant and graceful experiences in the worlds of cystic fibrosis, double lung transplant, and her passing – and the many, many ways it impacted our lives as individuals and as a family – contributes to the foundational soul of my art.
I try to embrace my feelings whether happy, sad, joyous, thankful, questioning or whatever else it may be and express them freely (a challenge I love) as I employ color, line, shape, and texture to create mainly abstract works. While I manage some degree of control, I try to let the magic happen through the healing journey of letting go and seeing what happens. Playing a part in revealing something in an uncertain way is exhilarating and fulfilling. While being a full-time artist is a recent development for me, I have been drawing and painting for nearly 50 years, primarily self-taught – sometimes steadily, sometimes not for a year or more. Many times, I yearned to be a professional artist; however, I made other decisions for which I do not have regrets as I have truly worked with and built relationships with some of the best people I could ever dream of knowing.
While I hope others will find meaning, comfort, beauty, joy or whatever touches them in my art, I want you to know that my love, heart, and soul are in each artwork influenced by journey, family, friends and increasingly the Lowcountry of South Carolina."
Suzy Lindow is a self-taught painter and collage artist with a penchant for quirk and color. Originally from the Midwest, she studied Psychology at NYU before living in and exploring the American Southwest for the decade following. She's since settled down with her husband and three children in Coastal Virginia.
She likes to create bold, lively pieces that infuse personality into a space, and her main influences include colorful vintage textiles, tribal artifacts, and folkart. Handmade objects and old things have always held wonder even from a very early age where she spent countless days being dragged along to estate sales and into dusty antique stores by her mother. These aged and bespoke notes of inspiration continue to play a central role in her work as she explores themes such as the relationship one has with one’s own perceived flaws and their unique physicality within greater societal beauty constructs. The offbeat color combinations and playful marks that define her whimsical portraits have caught the eye of collectors from both within the United States and around the world.
"A lot of my inspiration comes from places I've traveled and lived. At the top of the list would be the saturated colors of the Caribbean where I got married and sneak off to every chance I get, the beautiful warm hues of a desert sunset, the frothy blues of the Pacific Ocean surf beneath storm clouds, the soft winter pastels of the Midwest where I grew up, and the verdant greens of Coastal Virginia, where I currently reside. Some more inspiration comes from the things I love to fill my home with: the funky patterns of a well-worn Indian kantha, the bright color party of ethnic textiles from Thailand, South America, and Mexico, and the patina of a vintage brass fill-in-the-blank (I'll take them all, please.)" - Lindow