sense of what is possible
native of Bowling Green, Ohio, Beth Sautter has traveled all over
Europe England, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Switzerland,
Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal thanks to her father's
job as a geophysicist in the oil business. On her own, Beth made
stops in Houston and Los Angeles, before moving to Portland in
Something in common
To Beth Sautter, still-life paintings depict the worlds we create
for ourselves with the objects we choose to have around us.
"Common objects brought together into an uncommon
composition can encourage our sense of what is possible,"
"Somehow, when certain objects are brought
together, their beauty and meaning become evident."
Beth cites "Bluebird and Vase" as an example:
the bird sits on an ornately decorated pitcher, which in turn
sits on a plain wooden crate set against a spare background.
"These are the types of elements I like to
bring together in my work," she said. "Three distinctively
different objects somehow complement one another and are balanced
to form a unified picture.
"The selection of objects and how they relate
to one another is critical. Adding animals to a seemingly human
environment serves to welcome an element of wildness and beauty
into a domestic setting and moves the picture beyond a meditation
of form, surface and spatial arrangement."
Still the one
Beth began exhibiting her still-life paintings in 1997. They
are now showing at the Lawrence Gallery in Portland and the Zantman
Galleries in Carmel and Palm Desert, Calif.
Last year her painting "Yo-yo" won second
place at The Arts in Oregon Council's Celebration of the Arts.
Some of Beth's favorite artists and those
that influence her work include: Andrew Wyeth, Vermeer,
John Singer Sargent, Chardin and De Kooning; as well as living
artists Jamie Wyeth, Daniel Sprick and Helen Frankenthaler.
Relative to art
With aunts, uncles and cousins being artists in one way or another,
Beth's interest in art began at a young age.
"I got my first set of finger paints when I
was four and have been painting ever since," she said, "but
now I use acrylic paint and much better brushes.
"My parents were very creative, too. Mother
sang, played the piano, wrote, made quilts, etc. Father was a
scientist and liked to make things, especially with carpentry.
So they were supportive of my interests and arranged for extra
painting and photography classes in addition to what was offered
Beth took drawing, painting and ceramics classes
in high school. At the University of Texas, she studied advertising
design, photography and illustration, graduating in 1984 with
a bachelor of fine arts degree.
Work after college included jobs as a graphic designer in Surrey,
England, and Houston, Texas. And for four years Beth was an assistant
art director at Universal Studios in California. She worked on
collateral pieces for several movies, including "Jurassic
Park" and the "Beethoven" series.
"I was responsible for the development of print
advertisements for feature films from concept to final
art," she said. "I also designed and supervised print
production of posters, title treatments, standees, billboards
and other related pieces. It was a hectic, fast-paced job, but
it was also a lot of fun."
Some of that fun included riding the elevator with
Jane Seymour and staring at Jean Claude van Damme until he said
"It was one of those situations where you see
someone and know that you know who they are, but draw a blank
on the name," she said. "Well, once he spoke in that
sexy, French accent of his, I knew who he was."
Beth moved to Portland after "developing allergies to L.A."
"I guess I wasn't allergic to L.A. per se,"
she said, "but there was definitely something in the air
"I have family here so I thought I'd give the
town a try. Portland has a much more 'human' pace of life than
Los Angeles. I'm really happy here."
Beth now works as a freelance art director and graphic
designer even though she paints nearly full time.
"I don't have a huge dream or goal with my
artwork," she said. "I just want to continue learning
"I believe art is a way to celebrate living
and it's really fun!