Susan M. Story’s light-filled pastels of woodland and field are richly textured and executed with great energy and verve. Her powerful drawing creates a sense of solid forms and intimates the weight of tree limbs, roots and dense undergrowth. Meanwhile, her understanding of the way broken color can be combined to create light ensures that every subject feels fully illuminated and suffused with sunshine and air. The artist’s sense of how pastel can be made to perform at its very best may well be hereditary; she’s the daughter of pastelist Stanley Maltzman, author of Drawing Nature, whose own woodland paintings are much revered.
“I think I must have been born with a crayon in my hand,” Story says. “I took it for granted that I’d be an artist, because I was always drawing, painting, coloring and creating. It was a way
of life in my family.”
In addition, father and daughter would often go on painting excursions together. “We’d usually find a nice spot in the woods or a field,” she says. “It was very special to spend time together, and it’s one of the reasons that these woodland subjects are so comfortable for me now.”
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