A Q&A with Cheryl Wisbrock who talks about her approach to painting one of the featured pieces for the South Coastal Health Campus and why it is special to her.
Has your artwork been used in healthcare setting before? If not, how does that affect your approach for these pieces?
I am aware of two paintings currently hanging in healthcare settings: one is in a hospice center and another was purchased from a show, for a veteran’s medical facility in upstate Delaware. My approach for the new campus is somewhat different from those, as the earlier work was created without thinking of its ultimate destination or setting.
In contrast, the paintings for Beebe’s new cancer center are influenced by its purpose as well as the design of the physical setting. The scale of the facility, the natural and artificial light, the powerful reason this campus exists, all inform my creativity for the paintings. I am acutely aware that they will be part of a healthcare and healing environment, and I will endeavor to make them a helpful part of that experience.
Since Beebe has been in Sussex for over 100 years, and you have connections as a local artist, is this project special in a local way to you?
Lower Sussex County has been my home for over 20 years, and I have enjoyed involvement in numerous philanthropic/public interest organizations, both art-related and not. This Beebe Healthcare project is special to me because not only is the new campus a welcome and needed addition to our part of the county, but my friends and family will likely utilize and benefit from it. I am proud to be part of it in my own small way.
What can people expect style-wise? You sounded like you had some really interesting ideas about storytelling during the walk-through.
My paintings are produced with watercolor or acrylic paints, and the new Beebe canvases will be acrylic. My palette and style are similar in both mediums, demonstrating a love for translucent, light-filled images. Frequent subjects of my work are local beaches, marshes, and farms. During the walk-through at the construction site, it seemed a natural opportunity to memorialize the beauty of our local environment and that is my goal.
You said you love the process. Explain that more and how it applies to this project that so many people will see.
Creating a successful painting is not as simple as you might think. There are many steps involved in design and preparation, and I always look forward to actually beginning to apply paint. I guess that is what my favorite part is – the process of applying pigment to paper or canvas. I work in multiple layers and glazes, so it is not always evident to the casual observer just what the final painting will be. My joy is in watching the painting evolve as I work.
Art speaks to you, how will this project speak to others, you hope?
I hope the Beebe Healthcare paintings will convey a sense of peace and even a distraction during what may be a stressful or uncomfortable time.