Sydney Summers loves the way paint interacts with water
1. What is your medium and why did you choose it, or did the medium choose you?My medium is watercolor/watermedia. I fell in love with how paint interacted with water when placed on paper in the 1980s when I lived in Boulder. Up to then, I’d done a lot of pen and ink work and had begun to use oil paint, but the rigidity of the canvas frustrated me and I was always throwing turpentine on the paintings to see what happened when it made the paint run. There were many fine watercolor painters in Boulder, where I lived at the time, and I was privileged to attend workshops and painting sessions with them. I just took to watercolor in a way that made me know that to some degree it did choose me. Sometimes I work with ink, and sometimes with acrylic, but always on paper.
I also make some wreaths and a little bit of jewelry because I like to make things. My wreaths have a lot of dried things from my flower garden and contributions from friends who see things I might like to use, like unusual pods or berries. I started making the jewelry because I wanted a necklace to wear, so I just made it. And it’s nice to have some smaller items for the people who come to the studio tour, if they’re interested in something other than my paintings.2. What puts you in the mood to be creative?Just going into the studio and playing with all my paints and paper. The flow takes over and the creativity comes with it. I’m not sure I agree with creativity being linked to a “mood”. If a person’s an artist, they are actively being creative in whatever medium they work. It is a part of them. They don’t have to get in a mood. It is who they are. So the next step is to just go into the studio or wherever they work, and do it. It doesn’t always come together, but you just keep doing it, and it eventually does.
3. If you could choose anyone, alive or dead, to have dinner with who would it be and why?I’d have dinner with my late husband who was the most interesting, creative, funny person I’ve ever known.
4. What is the best aspect of having a studio in Red Cliff?My studio and my home are in Red Cliff so the convenience is a big part of it. Shrine Pass is a half block from my house and the source of a lot of inspiration for my snow scenes. I also love the drive up here (except during storms in the winter), it’s very calming and beautiful, and I see new things each time I come up the road to town.5. What is your credo or motto for life?Credos and mottos, I think, really aren’t what people live their lives by. A credo or a motto is narrow, and life is a broad experience. To try to answer your question, I’d say I try to be kind, to make a difference in my life and the life of the people whose lives intersect with mine, and lately I’ve been trying to just sit in my yard and enjoy the garden and not “do” anything.vail colorado