Loose brush paintings of exquisite interiors by American artist Gretchen Scherer. Her style reminds me of plein air (open air) painting in which you have to work quickly as you have to contend with the challenges of painting outdoors such as the weather, or when art students go on field trips and they do a quick sketch or painting of the place they visited to finish off later in the studio. As the title suggests, she has never been to any of these fancy interiors but her paintings are based on collaged photos from old books that she assembles and paints from those compositions.
I often think about the way I imagine spaces before I see them and how my ideas differ vastly from the way those spaces actually appear. It’s these places we create in our minds that inform my paintings. I am interested in the way one can automatically generate these images from just a few verbal cues—are they pieced together from distant memories or is it something more obscure? I begin my painting process by collaging together photographs from old books on the history of interiors, then making paintings based on those collages. I have found the images from the books resonate with me even though I have never experienced them in real life. I am drawn to certain interiors and ways of arranging the composition. The images I use to collage are mostly from homes in the Victorian era. These pictures hold a fascination for me and cause me to wonder if there is something lurking under the surface. As I’m collaging I imagine the people that lived in those spaces; I begin to catch glimpses of their former lives. It seems the difference between the real and the imagined is quite tenuous.