Sylvia Cummings Kokatnur

“Release”

Conversation with the Artist, Sylvia Cummings Kokatnur

When did you create this piece?
“I don’t date my paintings. It was the first time I came to Return to Freedom’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary and Neda did a release of the wild horses. I took a photo of the moment and translated it into this piece. I couldn’t believe I got the shot I did.”

Why did you choose to leave the fence in?
“I recall thinking about that choice. For composition purposes, I felt it added something to the background. Symbolism wasn’t a consideration.”

Where did you get your start in the art world?
“After growing up in upstate New York, I went to Pratt in Brooklyn in the 50’s. The professors were astounding. Living in NY was an incredible experience. The best piece of advice I ever received was to throw away my work if it wasn’t successful. Many artists get stuck on that.”

What is your outlook on sharing your art with the world?
“When I was employed as a colorist and designer at a textile firm in Manhattan, we lived in Greenwich Village and I took the bus up 6th Avenue every day. My work took priority over painting, but in the 1970’s I began to pursue watercolor seriously. I’m 87 now and I still submit my work to juries, even though many galleries prefer younger artists because they have years ahead of them to create work.”

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