About Sally Caldwell Fisher
I was born in 1951, in Philadelphia. My sisters and brothers and I grew up in Birmingham , Michigan. Our mother was a gifted watercolorist who never had the time to pursue her own creative passion. She transferred those desires to my sister and me, who took them up almost dutifully. Our mother provided us with good materials, for which I will always thank her, as some of the real magic of painting is released through the alchemy of paint and surface.I did not attend art school. I majored in English at the University of Michigan. I think it was my passion for literature and raw love of art which led me to develop a narrative painting style. If I cannot enter into a painting with an implied story, seen or unseen, then I am not compelled to go deeply enough into the experience to make it art.
Over the years, my style has evolved consistently, as I have evolved. Change and openness are essential to the creative spirit. I can never adequately describe my art , as it defies easy categorization. Much of it has reflected coastal New England life with an emphasis on the marine. My children were brought up in a Maine fishing village out of which my husband ran a boat fishing for lobster, bluefin tuna, urchins, and other exotic and magical creatures of the deep. All the time spent on the water has deeply affected my work.
My experiences in the world of art publication led me to branch out and explore the world of the narrative as inspired by old photographs. This offers a rich and limitless vein of possibility. I never tire of probing into the past for inspiration. I also started to create art for events, such as the America’s Cup races, the Wooden Boat Shows, various parades and festivals, even the Monte Carlo Circus. My love for the artless self-composition of interacting figures and human body language have always led a light-hearted humor to the paintings, which have sometimes been called “naïve.” The word “naïve” has always troubled me because I do not feel naïve. I often feel pretty cynical and let down. But I do feel a genuine affection for the people I invite into the paintings, people who are simply part of the composition, going about their business unawares, as if in snapshots.
Now, in midlife, I have experienced quite a bit of loss and change. So much so that it would be disingenuous not to change in my art. I am returning more to landscape out of love for the beauty of the world around me. The human presence is, of course, always implied at the very least. I desire to be a strong unseen presence, involved in the scene before me. Still, never far from the whimsical, I love to paint animals and objects and people. I am more interested in being eclectic than in being easily categorized. I am no classical artist. I am a painter whose work is her greatest source of well-being.
Sally at the White House
Sally painted the White House Christmas card in 1997. Copyright © 1994-2012 Sally Caldwell Fisher
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