Dancing Light: Changing Seasons New Works By Liz Haywood-Sullivan at Vose Galleries

A Painter for the Ages

Introduction by Marcia L. Vose

Liz Haywood-Sullivan has worked for the past two years preparing for this, her third solo exhibition at Vose Galleries. Prior to 2017, she devoted her time and talents to head the non-profit International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS), where she organized twelve international exhibitions and three international conventions for pastel artists.

Liz Haywood-Sullivan, PSA-MP, IAPS/MC

When her term ended at IAPS, she began to think about this exhibition and decided that she wanted a new direction for her work. After questioning the very foundation of her approach to painting, she concluded that she yearned to be “in the season” when she paints, rather than, for example, making color notes and sketches of a scene in winter and then producing the painting in the summer. She wanted to feel the colors of fall, the starkness of winter, the brilliant greens of spring and the atmospheric spark of summer that highlights light and shadow.

Haywood-Sullivan photographing the light in Tuscany

Dancing Light: Changing Seasons embodies the results of her constant searching — a fresh, direct approach to her work. Her nuanced feel for light and shadow combined with her brilliant mastery of the pastel medium showcase an artist who is at the very top of her profession. I am not alone in predicting that Liz Haywood-Sullivan will be recognized as a painter for the ages.

by Liz Haywood-Sullivan

The changing seasons are an integral part of who I am; as an artist, as an observer, a gardener, and as a person. It would be unbelievably difficult for me to live in a place where the seasons were not strongly delineated. I am deeply attuned to the natural world and to the seasonal march of the sun across the sky. This exhibition honors my love of the natural world and the influence it has had on my choice of artistic expression. Each of the paintings in this exhibition were inspired by and painted in the season that they represent. Of all the seasons, Winter is my favorite. Snow blanketing the landscape reveals the contours of the land, but also provides a blank canvas revealing various incarnations of light, color and long shadows.


'Garden Pinks,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 16 x 16 inches
"How can an artist resist the gorgeous colors of the Boston Garden’s rhododendrons? This painting is a study in complements of pink and warm green. The direct midday sun on the pavement bounces up onto the granite gateposts and wrought iron fence helping to define their forms."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan

'Spring Marsh,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 12 x 30 inches
'River Clouds,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 16 x 16 inches
"One of my early influences is painter and illustrator N.C. Wyeth. His graphic depictions of clouds always intrigued me. These clouds with their towering forms and slanting day’s end light reminded me of his painting 'The Giant'."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan

Click here to see N.C. Wyeth's The Giant.

'Grace of Day,' 2018, pastel on archival paper, 15 x 30 inches
'First Light,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 16 x 16 inches
"There are great rewards for the artist who gets up early to work as the sun rises. Nighttime humidity becomes mist, altering the perception of distances in the tree groves. Details are lost imparting a temporary ethereal misty aspect to the landscape. Monet’s painting 'Morning on the Seine Near Giverny' has influenced my work with his use of “neutrals,” which are in actuality strong colors, but of the same value layered upon each other."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan

Click here to see Claude Monet's Morning on the Seine Near Giverny.

'Garden Spring,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 24 x 48 inches
"Some of the first trees to bloom in spring are weeping willows. When the willows turn yellow you celebrate that winter is soon over. The willows overlooking the pond in the Boston Garden are massive, with tendrils draping and swaying down to the water’s edge. Painting this scene back-lit enhances the brilliance of the spring yellow-green and reveals the still-visible structure of tree trunks. The complement of purple-blue on the trunks lets you know how blue the sky is above this scene."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan

(Shown on location, Telluride, CO) 'Paradise', 2017, pastel on archival paper, 12 x 16 inches


Haywood-Sullivan painting on location in Spain
"I teach plein air workshops around the world. The focus is on capturing the local landscape en plein air – direct observation only, not using a camera, and all in one setting."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan

Left: Indigo Dawn, 2018, pastel on archival paper, 24 x 18 inches

'Country Road,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 12 x 30 inches
"The heavy humidity of night is rising and evaporating as the sun comes up…a harbinger of the coming fall when such scenes become commonplace as temperatures, and seasons, change."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan

Left: 'Distant Storm,' 2018, pastel on archival paper, 36 x 24 inches; Right: 'That Special Evening,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 36 x 24 inches
"Painting clouds is a passion of mine. I find them endlessly compelling. It’s hard to capture them en plein air, but I have an 18 x 24 gray sketchpad that I use to do quick studies of the moving clouds in charcoal and white chalk, just to study their nuances. This muscle memory comes into play when I do large studio pieces such as this these.

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan

'Dappled Creek,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 15 x 36 inches
'Dappled Creek' in progress
'Walk This Way,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 24 x 36 inches
"Working on black paper allowed me to play with my mark-making. The strong stroke work in the grasses mirrors the marks in the sky giving a movement and dynamic energy to the painting."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan


'King of the Hill,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 24 x 18 inches
"Craggy rocks famously define the Maine seacoast, and perhaps the best time of year to see them is when the sun is becoming more angular as the seasons move into fall."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan

'Frost,' 2018, pastel on archival paper, 20 x 20 inches
'Evening of Interesting Conversation,' 2017, pastel on archival paper, 36 x 24 inches
"Sitting outside with an artist friend and a bottle of wine, we were watching the sunset and having quite an intense and free-ranging conversation about why we create art. Losing track of time due to our discussion, we realized the moon had come out. The sky was that gorgeous shade of dark indigo and the moon created magical patterns of cast light on the clouds. It needed to be painted."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan

'Steam,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 20 x 20 inches
'Mesmerized,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 20 x 20 inches
"Walking down the street, my eye was caught by the traffic lights casting fascinating reflections on the damp sidewalk. These paintings are all about editing—taking out cars, people, signs and building details to focus only on what I wanted to show you. I am fascinated by soft, amorphic shapes juxtaposed against the hard edges of man-made architecture. Steam, like painting clouds, offers many challenges in its lost and found edges and translucencies."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan


'Blustery,' 2018, pastel on archival paper, 18 x 18 inches
"Winter is my favorite season and I find that working on black surface enhances the impression of seasonal overcast weather. In this painting, I enjoyed capturing the feel of driving snow on a windy, wintery day."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan

'Rosy Streak,' 2019, pastel on archival paper, 12 x 24 inches
"Speeding down to New York from Boston on an early morning train I always try to sit on the Long Island Sound side. The train offers wonderful views of the coastline, and plenty of inspiration."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan

'Transitions I' (left) and 'Transitions II' (right): 2019, pastel on archival paper, 24 x 36 inches each
"One of my favorite subjects is the North River, which borders Scituate on the north and Marshfield (where I live) on the south. A historically significant river, it is the site of numerous pre-Revolutionary shipbuilding locations. The title refers to some of the important transitions the river has seen; from supporting livelihoods to being a recreational haven; the re-location of its mouth to the ocean due to the Hurricane of 1879; and as depicted in these paintings, the passage of night to day."

-Liz Haywood-Sullivan

'Tidal Way,' 2018, pastel on archival paper, 21 x 27 inches
'Winter Rhythms,' 2018, pastel on archival paper, 18 x 36 inches

'Dancing Light: Changing Seasons' is viewable September 28th - November 9th, 2019.

Click here to view the entire exhibition online.


238 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116 • (617) 536-6176 • info@vosegalleries.com • www.vosegalleries.com

Editor: Marcia L. Vose; Digital Catalog Design: Catharine L. Holmes; Photography: J Michael Sullivan; Writing: Marcia L. Vose and Liz Haywood-Sullivan. © 2019 Vose Galleries, LLC. Rights Reserved. The right to copy, photograph or reproduce the works of art identified herein is reserved by Liz Haywood-Sullivan.