Still life painting - Sherrie McGraw
Still life painting by Sherrie McGraw

Eric Rhoads interviews figurative and still life artist Sherrie McGraw, who is known for her classical chiaroscuro* paintings in this PleinAir Art Podcast, in which they discuss color and light, the colorist movement, the language of drawing, and more.

“Art wasn’t anything anybody really did,” McGraw says when telling us about growing up and discovering art. She says she became captivated by the art books her mother had at home, and the rest is history.

McGraw began taking art classes with David Leffel (featured in a recent podcast), whom she ended up marrying. When Rhoads playfully asked if she had a grand plan to marry him when signing up for the class, McGraw tells him that no, she had no plan, “except to learn to paint and draw.” She adds, “There was a strong connection, that was for sure.” While studying with Leffel, there were two words that greatly moved her, words that she kept visible on her easel to remind her as she created: “Everything matters.”

Rhoads and McGraw go on to discuss aesthetic choices and the development of one’s tastes, what makes a good painting, how to assess a painting, and more. Rhoads says to McGraw, “When I see the paintings you and David create, I can instantly feel the sense of taste, the harmony, and the drama.”

*What is chiaroscuro? It’s an art term that refers to a certain use of light and contrast commonly seen in still life paintings by the masters.

Listen to the full PleinAir Art Podcast with Eric Rhoads and Sherrie McGraw here:

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