Artist Balances Career and Family
Pink Magic, 2009
Eastham artist Norwegian-born Snefrid Sneve-Schultze ("Sissi”) is celebrating the acceptance of her portrait entitled, ‘Pink Magic’ into the prestigious National Juried Exhibition at the Cape Cod Art Association, June 18 through July 3, 2009. “This is my first national show and I am very happy and excited about it!”
The artist also received an "Honorable Mention" for her portrait entitled ‘Kristine’ in the winter open juried exhibition at the Cape Cod Art Association in 2008.
Despite Sissi’s unflagging commitment to home and family over the past eight years, her dedication and devotion to her art has never wavered.
She freely admits juggling a creative life with motherhood can be challenging and that during the first several years of her marriage her art career was relegated to second place over raising her son, whom she proudly claims as her ‘finest creation.’ "It takes time and energy to make a new human being and build a family," she says with a smile.
Sissi’s husband Rob is also an artist. She believes his support and encouragement over the years has, in part, made it possible for her to pursue her creative goals. "I am blessed with a wonderful family and beautiful surroundings that I find inspiring. I’ve also discovered a large community of incredibly talented artists who live, work and exhibit on the Cape that I never knew existed. It is exciting to be part of this community and to find support for what I love to do."
In addition to providing places to exhibit artwork, the Cape’s numerous artists’ centers and groups offer classes and workshops, creating opportunities for collaboration with others pursuing similar artistic goals.
Children are among Sissi’s current sources of inspiration. "Children are true to themselves, there is no facade, just pure undiluted emotions and excitement, and they never hide who they are."
Her long-standing fascination with the human face, hence her focus on portraiture, stems from her childhood observation and deep interest in people and animals. This interest motivated her to spend hours sketching people and animals that came into her field of vision.
Sissi believes every face has its own unique and complex story to tell. Her role as an artist is to capture that story in all its interesting and myriad individual expressions. “I believe that at this level we unite as human beings, thereby overshadowing cultural differences, and bringing forward our most personal traits and deepest essence. This process uplifts my spirit and hopefully that of the viewer as we merge together in our appreciation of the underlying emotion of that moment captured forever.”
Generally, Sissi works from snapshots, which capture her subject in a fleeting and unguarded moment. "I take many pictures from which I pick one or two that perfectly portray my subject in a style that is flattering thereby conveying the very essence of that person.” Sissi believes a picture is worth a thousand words.
Portraiture can be the ultimate life affirming means of positive self-expression. "My desire is to offer a mirror to my client, one in which they can view themselves at that specific moment doing something they love or reflecting on something or someone that makes them feel happy, healthy and glad to be alive despite life’s challenges."
In her efforts to explore her artistic talent more deeply and develop a wider audience, Sissi enrolled in art classes at the Creative Arts Center, in Chatham, this past winter with instructor Mary Alice Eizenberg. This experience helped Sissi foster an avid appreciation and fascination with still-life and life in general, which she says is all about capturing light.
"Peonies", 2009, Oil on Canvas
This in turn has sparked her interest in en plein air painting. “There is something so spontaneous and alive about a painting done in nature. When I capture the light, I capture the essence and spark of life.”
She recently participated in a workshop with Rosalie Nadeau, PSA. "It was such a privilege to be part of this group of talented artists, and Rosie is a both a fabulous artist and instructor! I had an inspiring and incredible weekend".
Sissi plans to take advantage of the opportunity to paint on location as part of The Eastham Painters’ Guild, who meet every Tuesday at The Cape Abilities Art Center prior to their on-site artistic foray. She joined the Eastham Painters’ Guild in the spring, where she participated in the outdoor exhibit on Memorial Day weekend.
The artist’s next show will be held on Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28. She will also display her work at the Historical Society in Eastham (the Old School House opposite from the Visitors’ Center) every Friday and Saturday during July and August.
“The emphasis of my artwork is on all that is positive and life affirming,” Sissi adds. “I want to know that every time the viewer gazes at one of my paintings that they are reminded of some favorite moment in time or some special place that imbues them with a sense of warmth and happiness. In so doing, I feel that I fulfill my destiny as an artist.”
Snefrid Sneve-Schultze lives in Eastham with her husband Robert and their son Thomas.
P.V. Cowan is a freelance writer, editor, and intuitive counselor who lives and works in Eastham.
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