Everyone knows that the sky is rarely as simple as the color blue. In fact, artist Whitney Knapp Bowditch specializes in exploring the mutability of the sky’s palette in her series of expressive landscape paintings. By using a variety of tools, brushstrokes, and techniques, Bowditch captures the transitory phases of the sky and shows how it changes the atmosphere of the landscape below.
The nationally exhibited artist is currently based in Richmond, Virginia, where she balances her creative practice with teaching courses in drawing and painting at John Tyler Community College. “I am interested in the physicality of paint and the infinite ways in which it can be applied to a surface,” says Bowditch. The artist’s vast portfolio shows her keen interest in landscapes of many types, including abstracts, coasts, and waves, to name a few. Although they differ slightly in style and subject matter, all of Bowditch’s artwork is connected by a common thread—the sky.
“Of great fascination to me is the sky—both its subtle, transitory qualities and its ability to alter the landscape,” Bowditch explains in her artist statement. “Much of my work is focused on the atmospheric relationship between the sky and the attendant land and sea.” To achieve the expressive quality in her canvases, Bowditch often employs the use of a palette knife. She distributes rough “swipes” of color that emulate the tumultuous layers of a sunset, sunrise, or storm. These painterly skies are then enhanced by the shadowy silhouette of the landscape below.