Sue McNally is working on “This Land is My Land,” a series of large-scale landscape paintings, one for each of the fifty United States. During the summer months, she takes road trips to states she hasn’t visited, camping along the way, sleeping under the stars, and gathering material. She returns to her studio, located in a converted mill in North Kingstown, RI, and begins to craft the paintings. When I stopped by, paintings of Missouri and Illinois, recently completed, were hanging on the walls and she had just returned from a trip to Wyoming.
[Image at top: Sue McNally in her North Kingstown studio.]
North Kingstown was the birthplace of Gilbert Stuart, the American portrait painter who painted one of my favorite canvases: theunfinished portrait of George Washington in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. Perhaps growing up near the Gilbert StuartBirthplace & Museum, which McNally visited frequently as a kid, planted her deep-rooted interest in American history and culture.