Suzanne Ouellette's Bennington Cup & Friends Oil Painting


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We've been fans of Suzanne's simple but evocative oil paintings for years. You may remember some of her work at our gallery in Rhinebeck. This year she created a series of cups and musings that we are excited to share and offer.

H8" x W6" oil on canvas

"Pottery has been especially important to me these days, during the pandemic. The objects we have at hand have a solemnity and prominence we didn't always give them when we rushed from home to the outside world. Now, we can savor and linger over that morning coffee and make a slow ritual of tea in the afternoon. Given how much I had come to appreciate these moments with cup in hand over the last several months, it seemed right to bring them into the painting studio and do their portraits.

This solidly crafted mug with its unusual handle was purchased at the Bennington Pottery in Bennington, Vermont. It is good for an afternoon latte, when I let myself do that, and for soups. It sits on a favorite piece of estate sale velour fabric in a strange greenish tone. The painting came to be about playing with different versions of white.
By the time I got to this cup, my still life objects had begun a revolt. They organized to tell me that they had had enough of being painted all alone, without any company. 'Isn't it bad enough that so many people are feeling so alone in these pandemic days,' they asked me, 'why do we need to be alone, why can't we have company in your paintings of us.' The Vermont cup had a particularly strong and grumpy way of putting this point, so I agreed to add a clear bottle to the set up. Early in the painting, I realized that the bottle had brought along its own friend, its shadow. Now we were three in the painting."