Excerpts from AskArt Archives:
Cary Ennis paints in her studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “There is a natural light that comes in from a north window. This natural light adds a softness to my work. It is also constant throughout the day, explains the artist. “I am also beginning to paint out in the direct sun doing studies of individual flowers. The color is wonderful in the sun, bright and direct,” she continues. Ennis is very deliberate in her work. She looks for the interplay of light on surfaces, interpreting with the paint what nature dictates: soft or sharp transitions, the interplay of light and shadow, hard or soft edges, bright or subdued colors, textures and transparencies, glazed veils and hidden secrets. But mostly, she looks for the visceral feeling of what is right to her. “The process demands being aware and present. It is a wonderful vehicle,” states Ennis.Ennis’ technique has also developed as a result of studying with two well-respected oil painters, David Leffel and Gregg Kreutz. But Ennis only discovered them long after she finished her education. She received her BA in art and MA in jewelry from the University of New Mexico. But she never found her niche when she was in school since most of the teachers concentrated on Abstract Expressionism. “I had yet to find what I was striving for in my work. I was not finding the possibilities.”In 1984, five years after graduation she was still painting in watercolor while she was running her jewelry business she came across a brochure from the Scottsdale Artists’ School, displaying the work of Greg Kreutz. She felt driven to take a class with him. “His work was wonderful little jewels of color,” she remembers. Not long after that workshop, she packed her bags and went to New York to study with David Leffel at the Art Students League. “David Leffel taught me many lessons, how to work with hard and soft edges, light and its many values. But most importantly he taught me to see unity between my painting and my life,” Ennis recalls.One of Ennis’ greatest influences has been the Dutch artist Jan Vermeer. It is seen in the dark backgrounds, focused light, and tranquil mood of her still-lifes. “Vermeer created an interesting clarity and calmness in his paintings. This is what I am striving for in my work, a reverence for the world and a delight in all the nuances,” she explains.
There is an uncanny clarity, calmness, and reverence for the beauty in everyday objects, which Ennis translates into her work. She wants the viewer to open their eyes, to see things differently, and observe the aesthetic beauty of something as simple as an onion or radish. “The inter-relationship between each item is important; they strike harmonious notes that visually soothe the viewer. When things are seen simply as they are, then the beauty in them reveals itself. It is this innate beauty that I am striving to bring to my work.”
Source: Kent Whipple, Art Professional