Finding beauty in the everyday
This story was featured in the August 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art August 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art August 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
For as long as he can remember, Los Angeles-based painter Ezra Suko has been intrigued by the natural world. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Suko loved exploring the Cascade Mountains and the forests close to his home in Gig Harbor, WA. Even as a youngster he felt a strong desire to paint the pristine streams, trees, and mountains that he saw before him. But it wasn’t until he was 20 that Suko began studying art seriously with representational painter Jerry Yarnell, who became a valued mentor.
Other key life experiences have also informed his artwork. His stint in the U.S. Army as a gunner taught him the importance of discipline, organization, and hard work. At one time during his deployment he hunted for insurgent weapons caches in Iraq, among other things. In Iraq he also learned to deal with extreme heat, which prepared him for painting on location in sizzling Southern California climes, he says.
These days Suko finds inspiration in the peace and splendor of early evening light as well as after the sun falls behind the clouds. “The colors in the shadows are richer than a photograph can ever describe, so you have to be there in person to see it with your own eyes,” he says. “I like the fleeting effects of light, which are difficult to capture but which I find to be the most beautiful and powerful.”
In order to paint nocturnal pieces, Suko attaches a small book light to his pochade box. The light swivels so that he can illuminate both his palette and his canvas. In describing his style, the artist says that it falls somewhere between realism and impressionism with a good dose of imagination. “I am trying to convey a childlike sense of wonder at the little glimpses of beauty that surround our daily lives,” Suko says. “I hope, in some small way, to bring more truth, goodness, and beauty into the lives of those who see my paintings.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the August 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art August 2013 digital download
Southwest Art August 2013 print issue
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