A Road of Her Own
Wise uses a computer to paint the landscapes of her memory as she seeks to reconnect people with nature, their memories and their dreams. She uses an art program, Corel Painter, which mimics an array of traditional art media, though she prefers the oil paint variants. Traditional brushes are replaced with her Wacom drawing tablet, which is a cross between a pen and paper and a computer mouse. Now her art, a combination of a modern technology and time honored techniques, showcases the road she has crafted for herself.
Wise was born in England on an Air Force base near Oxford, the only child of a retired Airman who painted and drew in his spare time. They returned to the United States early in her life, and moved several times in her first six years. Her love of art started at a very early age as she also loved copying her father. When Wise was around 8, her father retired from the Air Force. The family was stationed in Colorado, which is where he had grown up. As a child, he had spent many happy days hiking and fishing with his father and brothers, and he started taking her out hiking and fishing as well. She has many happy memories of hiking to some remote spot and spending the day there.
“One of my favorite things to do was to race ahead, stand on the edge of a ridge and stare into the distance, trying to take in the whole scene. My father never wanted me running off like that. I imagine I must have given him quite a few heart attacks.” Her art today draws on these memories to share the wonder and joy of those days.
She came to love the work of the Romanticists, which tied in neatly with her love of the poetry and music from that time. “Many of my titles are adaptations of lines from the poetry of the time. When I start a painting, I look through my poetry books or listen to music to bring a memory to my mind. Then I choose my palette for the piece and start painting.” Wise has been heavily influenced by the work of Hans Gude, Théodore Rousseau, Albert Bierstadt, and John Constable. She also studied the lighting and composition techniques of portrait painters such as Rembrandt and Leonardo Da Vinci.
When Wise sits down to paint, she starts by opening a blank canvas, then coloring it with a mid-tone in one of the main colors of her painting. “I use the same brush strokes I used when I was painting on canvas. I still start with a colored canvas, then paint an under-painting, and I layer the paint as I go. The tablet is pressure and direction sensitive, so I also can use glazing techniques, I can scrub paint into my canvas,, I can scrape with a palette knife, and so on. Essentially, the main differences are I have the ability to save as I go, and there is no drying time.”
“Every landscape I paint is far more than just a picture. It is a memory, a connection to people and places, warm thoughts and feelings. We all spend so much time connected to computers and phones and pieces of technology, often at the expense of real life connections. My paintings are an invitation, and a reminder, there is life outside of the phone, there are experiences you can actually have that go beyond a post and a photo.” Wise currently lives and paints in Colorado, still cultivating her strong ties to that place.