Cecy Turner: Drawing on Nature

As the shafts of sunlight filter through the trees, the viewer can almost feel the cool, crisp air.   It may be easy to linger on the colorful snow and the twisting of the brook, but as we follow the trickle of water we are led to a small home nestled in the distance. Cecy Turner’s painting “Tucked in for the Winter” was the winner of the “Best Narrative Award” sponsored by Plein Air Magazine in the 2016 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit.

Cecy TurnerTucked In for the Winter email   “Tucked in for the Winter”, oil, 20×24

Cecy’s love for drawing began early in life, as she recalls pouring over her father’s sketchbook and wishing she could draw so well as he. Her love for art continued as she took art classes in college and afterward, focusing on oil and watercolor.  Her leap of faith came after a few years in her job, when she decided to quit the job and focus on her painting.  She began by entering art fairs on the weekends.  Although her college courses offered little in the way of fundamentals, Cecy sought out workshops and instructors that would round out what she felt she had missed during those college years.  Her choice to devote her time and talent to her art was a good one; for 12 years she supported herself and her children by selling and teaching art, admirable to say the least.

Like so many of us, Cecy is inspired by John Singer Sargent…his compositions, use of values and simplified brushwork.  Sorolla is another favorite, particularly for his emotive use of light and shadow.

Nature is the primary inspiration for Cecy’s work.  Many of her paintings are done en plein air, particularly in Colorado in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  Although she may have been deterred from plein air painting in the beginning, she has since found that she enjoys the challenge of battling the elements.  She has discovered the necessity of painting on location; “if an artist doesn’t paint on location, they are missing out on the fact that nature is the greatest teacher”.  Nature, she feels, gives her more than any class, book, dvd or workshop.

Turner’s palette for her work consists of alizarin crimson, Rembrandt Red, burnt sienna, cadmium orange, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium lemon, viridian green, ultramarine, cobalt and cerulean blues, and Titanium-Zinc white.  Her colors are the same for both studio and plein air work.  Her outdoor set up consists of either an Open M Box (11×14) or a smaller 6×8 or 8×10 thumb box.  The changing light outdoors precludes her use of study paintings en plein air, but for studio paintings she always does either a small value study or a color study.

Cecy TurnerMeandering Way Step 1   Cecy TurnerMeandering Way Step 2   Cecy TurnerMeandering Way finished

Step by Step for “Meandering Way”

As she begins her day in her studio, she plans out her work.  When working from her photos, she will peruse her computer photo files and prints, and find an image that jumps out at her. She will take the time to do sketches and plan her paintings, as she has learned  that planning is essential for success.

Turner has twice been featured in the “Art of the West Magazine”, most recently in the Mar./April 2016 issue titled ‘Mother Nature’s Magic’ as well as a cover image and feature article on painting snow for “Watercolor Artist Magazine”.

Cecy enjoys changing mediums from time to time, and says that “it gives a fresh perspective and keeps paintings lively.  One medium can help you get better in another medium”.

And her word for us is Perseverance.  A tough skin helps as well.  “You can’t EVER give up on something-trying it again and again is the best way to learn!”

Of the many accolades that Cecy has earned, here are just a few:

Master Signature Member of the Women Artists of the West (also past president of WAOW), a Fellow of the American Artists Professional League, Signature Member of American Women Artists, Signature Member of Western Federation of Watercolor Societies, and Signature Member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society.

Ms. Turner is represented by Silver Street Fine Art in Lake City, CO, Seaside Gallery in Pismo Beach, CA, and Gallery VII in Allenspark, CO.

To view more of Cecy Turner’s work, visit her website at http://www.cecyturner.com

To view more of the NOAPS 2016 Best of America paintings, visit http://www.noaps.org.

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