Work We Do: Anne Sherwood Pundyk, painter

I’m Anne Sherwood Pundyk and I’m a painter. 

I’ve been a painter really all my life. My grandmother was an artist and I can remember when I was very little, sitting with her. We would talk about mixing colors and, in fact, I still use some of her paintbrushes.

There’s a couple different steps to getting into my work but I like to start out in the morning.

There’s the doing, where you’re mixing color, pouring paint, sewing the pieces together or responding with different motifs, like circles and zig-zags, that tell a story, but often times there’ll be long sections of time where I’m just sitting and looking.

I work on unstretched canvas, so I work on the floor and on the wall. Taking the time to lay out canvas, picking a color and making a large pour, where I’m interested in kind of getting to control the uncontrollable.

I make a collage of different textures and colors and see what the interplay is. I use a sewing machine to stitch them together. The works end up being really large; they cover a whole wall. And I like that they create the sense of enveloping the viewer rather than making a window that people look into.

I moved my studio to Mattituck four years ago from the city. I found that having those long, interrupted stretches of time, along with the natural light and the exposure to the seasons, has had an impact on my work. I’ve been coming to the North Fork since I was very young. I love connecting with the art community out here.

Being an artist, your job is helping people connect to an interior realm of thought and feeling. So maybe it doesn’t have a practical application like some jobs do, but it’s really important. That’s an important role of the arts, to create the sense of access and freedom for people to get to understand themselves and other people. And that’s my job.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing in Greenport. See photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.