PSS Summer '13

Painting Water

By Brenda Pittman

Water is often the inspiration for artist Sybil Perry’s ’64 dreamy landscapes. Not just childhood memories of scenic spring-fed lakes in northern Wisconsin or the Housatonic River not far from her home in picturesque Cornwall Bridge, Ct., in the heart of the rolling Litchfield Hills, but also time spent, well…showering.

“I get my best ideas there—when you relax, you can make miracles,’’ says Perry, whose paintings have won numerous awards in local and national juried shows and are in public and private collections across the U.S. and abroad. Her work has been selected for exhibition at the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Slater Memorial Museum, and the Stamford Art Museum.

Having “always been an artist,” Perry took every art course offered while an English major at William Smith before graduating in 1964.

After an editor’s stint at a book publishing company and time spent raising her three boys, Perry earned a B.F.A. in painting, summa cum laude, from Connecticut’s University of Bridgeport. Painting ever since, her artistic journey has happily meandered through years of abstract and realistic painting in oils and watercolors, to now focusing on landscapes in pastel.

“My paintings are not just a product of what I see,” she says. “They may at times have a story hidden in them. Sometimes I recognize the story as I am working on the piece.”

Also the proprietor of a garden design business, Perry is most enlivened creatively when she paints each morning, especially if the scene includes a lake, stream or river.

"I would have no trouble painting only water. It inspires me."

You can view more of Perry’s work by visiting


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