Artist | Oil Paint

Sherrie Wolf

Sherrie Wolf

Painter Sherrie Wolf challenges tradition via rich large-scale oil paintings that mix self-portraiture with still life and historical reference.

Marriage, 2023 oil on canvas 50" x 50"

While at art school in Portland, Sherrie Wolf rode by bus with friends over 600 miles to San Francisco for a retrospective of Georgia O’Keefe’s work. “I saw all these huge paintings of flowers, and they were so beautiful,” remembers Wolf, who later took degrees in painting and printmaking. “I thought, ‘Well, there’s a woman artist who’s made a very successful career.’ She was a great role model for me.” This was in the early 1970s, when Wolf’s college curriculum had textbooks that surveyed art history without including any female artists.

Juan, 2023 oil on canvas 20"x20"

Abstract expressionism was popular at school, but Wolf’s work focused on what she loved: still lifes. “I’ve always liked objects and gone to flea markets, that sort of thing,” says Wolf, who in addition to collecting, borrows items from friends, welcomes gifts of seasonal pears and tulips, and takes pictures while traveling of anything she can’t bring back to her Manzanita studio. “I just gather a lot of material that I’m interested in,” says Wolf. “Then I see what kind of energy and combinations I can make to create something dynamic in composition.”

Still Life from Snyders to Oudry, 2023 oil on canvas 42" x 32"

Since 2012, Wolf has merged her still life subjects with historic reference to explore a theme of “seeing herself in history,” mixing in self-portraiture and questioning tradition. “There could be concern that beautiful, large-scale images of teacups, tulips and other ‘feminine identified objects’ might cast me as a dilettante who paints pretty pictures,” says Wolf. “I am undaunted by this, with O’Keeffe at my back.”

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